OLEA offers new opportunities for Canadian investors in the Cayman Islands

by Corben Grant on 28 Oct 2021

Many Canadians take a winter getaway every year as the days get shorter and the temperature drops, and in recent years some of these travellers are doing more than just enjoying the sun, sand and sea on holiday – they are spending vacation time looking at foreign properties for investment purposes and/or second homes.

One property well suited to those seeking an investment property, which also can meet second home needs, is a new residential development in the Cayman Islands called OLEA, located in one of the Caribbean’s most unique and modern communities.

The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory, comprising three islands in the western Caribbean, located 475 miles southwest of Miami and a 45-minute flight south of Cuba. In addition to stunning beaches, a fabulous marine environment, year-round warm weather, the Cayman Islands features well-developed infrastructure, a stable government, a low crime rate, high-quality health services, and regular service by major Canadian airlines.

The Cayman Islands presents an attractive option for foreign real estate investors, and a recent boom in sales and development on the islands reflects this.

Grand Cayman, the largest island of the Cayman archipelago, is where most of this boom is taking place. Demand for properties in the Seven Mile beach neighbourhood is high and of particular interest is owning property that is proximate to the 685-acre community of Camana Bay.

The community is built on the principles of New Urbanism and is the first of its kind in the Caribbean. Camana Bay is home to approximately 3,000 tenants and residents and includes close to one million square feet of retail space, restaurants, and offices. The entire town center is easily walkable, and only a short car or ferry ride away from the many attractions on Grand Cayman. The community is in a prime location, just outside the capital of George Town, only a 10-minute drive from the international airport and directly adjacent to the world-famous Seven Mile Beach. And now for the first time, the OLEA development offers buyers the chance to own property in this one-of-a-kind community.

“OLEA is well suited to people that either want to live in the Cayman Islands full time, people that want to own a vacation property here, or people that want to buy an investment property,” said Sue Nickason, vice president of real estate marketing and sales at Provenance Properties – the exclusive Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in the Cayman Islands. Nickason explained the numerous communal amenities available to residents at OLEA, including a gym, a yoga garden, a resort-style swimming pool, and Cayman Island’s first lazy river.

OLEA also offers a variety of different unit types. “There are condominiums, townhouses and even semi-detached villas with a swimming pool in the backyard.”

Construction began on OLEA in 2019, and the first residents have already begun settling in. That means the properties at OLEA are brand new and built to the highest modern standards. For sustainability-conscious Canadians, these innovations offer peace of mind.

The final phase of construction on OLEA is set to be finished in summer 2022, Of the 108 units on offer so far, 92 have already sold.

For Canadian investors looking to buy property abroad, the Cayman Islands’ property market is easy to access. Nickason points out major benefits to investing in property in the Cayman Islands, such as the lack of restrictions on foreign property ownership, no alien landholding licenses, and local banks working to finance properties with qualified foreign applicants.

For those interested in renting their properties, OLEA’s property management team is ready to assist in the process.

“We have a property management company that can assist, and the team at our brokerage, Provenance Properties can also assist with finding long-term tenants.”

Thanks to a globally mobile population and the presence of international businesses on the island, there is no shortage of renters looking to reside in Camana Bay.

“There's a lot of demand for long-term rentals in the Cayman Islands,” said Nickason, “For those people that want to buy a property and then lease it out long term, OLEA is wonderfully located.

“OLEA is proximate to a lot of the top law businesses and accounting firms that regularly recruit a great number of employees every year. These professionals move to Cayman to work for a couple of years, and seek long-term rentals.”

Nickason adds one caveat to the rental option, one that may appeal to potential residents.

“The one thing I should note with these properties is that short-term rentals such as Airbnb and VRBO are not permitted, so it’s a truly residential community.”

As of November 20, the Cayman Islands will open its borders to most vaccinated tourists, meaning Canadians can once again travel to the islands. But, in the face of future unpredictability, OLEA still remains accessible digitally.

“We've helped a number of people buy property without coming here. We provide a video tour of the property and send Matterport videos and still photographs. We can also arrange an independent inspection of the property for buyers. It is a new property, but we realize that for investors coming from abroad, sometimes they want that additional peace of mind. Once a client decides that they want to acquire a property, we're happy to introduce lawyers on the island to convey the property. We can also introduce banks that finance the purchase of property for international clients. Typically, they will finance up to 65% of the property's value for international buyers that are qualified. We’re just there every step of the way to help make sure the process goes smoothly. It will typically take about three months to close on a property here.”

In addition to buying for investment or vacation home purposes, some buyers intend to move to Cayman full time.

“Some people buy with a goal to establish permanent residency. We're also able to help clients if they are looking to purchase with the goal to apply to achieve permanent residency by investing in real estate. We can certainly help them with this process.”

Interested investors should get in touch with Sue Nickason directly at [email protected].



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