Cayman Islands Property Buying Information

Cayman Islands Property Investment 

The Cayman Islands property market spanning the islands of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac offers an excellent choice of beautiful locations for high quality properties within a political stable country that is a dependant territory of the United Kingdom and has direct flight from the UK and North America. 

Despite being badly effected by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the Cayman Island economy has hardly missed a beat and the Cayman Islands property market has fully recovered with many new large scale tourist development projects underway and strong demand for tourist related developments, vacation villas and retirement properties. Additionally, there is a consistent demand for high quality residential housing for the Cayman Islands population of lawyers, accountants and bankers working for the islands financial services sector. 

Property investors continue to be attracted to the Cayman Islands due to the above factors and also the fact that there are no capital gains tax, income tax, property or inheritance taxes. 

Foreign Property Ownership 
There are no legal restrictions on the ownership of property by foreigners, where the property is for the personal use of the owner; however the ownership of property for business purposes is subject to licensing. 

Foreigners may open bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and take out a loan to finance a property purchase. The banks will often lend up to 50 to 75% of the property value to foreigners, but will normally require the first legal hold over the property. When lending to a company, the banks will usually ask for a personal guarantee from the directors or shareholders. 

Property Title 
Most properties in the Cayman Islands are freehold, although there are a few leasehold properties. Title to Cayman Islands property can be held by individuals, either alone, jointly, or in the name of a company. 

Land Registry 
Property in the Cayman Islands is recorded in a registered system maintained by the government and open to public inspection. Buyers may examine the registration of any property and see who owns the property and whether there are any charges against the property. Since the registry process requires each property to be carefully scrutinised before it can be registered, a registered property effectively guarantees title. 

Stamp Duty 
Stamp duty of 7.5% is payable to the government on all property purchases. There is also a 1% stamp duty payable on mortgages up to CI$300,000 (approx. US$240,000) and 1.5% stamp duty on mortgages exceeding this value. 

The Financial Secretary has the power to waive or reduce the stamp duty on the transfer of a property between immediate family members, or between an individual and a company of which he is the sole owner. 

Stamp duty concessions are also available on Cayman Brac where a buyer purchasing raw land and committing to building within a two year period of the purchase may save 5% of the Stamp Duty and importation tax on building materials and supplies. 

Residency and Work Permits 
Foreigners may apply for permanent residency in the Cayman Islands by making an investment of approximately US$200,000 in property and paying a fee of CI$15,000. To obtain residency the foreigner will also need to provide :- 

bank references 

proof of sufficient financial ability to support oneself without employment in the Cayman Islands 

personal references 

a clean police record 

Permanent residency allows the resident to enjoy an unlimited period of time in the Islands but does not entitle the resident to work in the Islands. Any resident wishing to work in the Cayman Islands is required to submit an application for a Work Permit with the Department of Labour. 

Buying a Cayman Islands Property 
The conveyancing of a property in the Cayman Islands is straightforward and can be undertaken by a large number of legal firms based on the islands. The fee for conveyancing a property are usually a small percentage of the purchase price of the property. 

Taxes And Duties 
The Cayman Islands do not have income tax, sales tax, capital gains, property, death, estate, inheritance or corporate taxes. However, there is a departure tax of 5% on airline passengers and a tax on tourist accommodation. 

Rental Income 
There are no restrictions of owners renting their property. Property management companies are generally available and will takes care of marketing and renting properties on the owners behalf. 

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