Call it the Kimpton Effect.
It’s the name being given to the impact that Grand Cayman’s big new resort has had on the availability of rental properties because the influx of new employees at the Seafire found housing shortly before the start of the busy tourism season.
The Kimpton Seafire created approximately 300 jobs directly along with indirect work for vendors and suppliers. While many of those employees are Caymanian or already lived here, Realtors and others in the rental property business say enough new employees –from the Seafire and elsewhere– have taken up nearly all of the rental housing supply in West Bay and George Town in a rent range of $1,000 to $3,000 per month.
“It’s not looking good (for supply), even in higher price points if you want to be close to Seven Mile Beach,” said Jeanette Totten of Cayman Luxury Property Group and president of CIREBA, the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association.
The sentiment was echoed by BCQS property manager Colleen Martin who said “demand for Seven Mile, West Bay, the George Town corridor has increased so much, but we just don’t have the supply.”
Both said it would be reasonable to expect that property sellers may seek to take advantage of rising rates and opt to rent out units rather than continue waiting for a buyer.
They also acknowledge that the short-term problem also plays a positive role in their work to promote the Cayman Islands as an attractive place to work and invest.
“It’s a fantastic place to live, so it’s not the worst problem to have, no!” said Ms. Totten.