All dealings in real estate in the Cayman Islands are based on a registered land system. All land is identified and numbered; a public records sheet relating to it is kept at the Land Registry.
Land titles in this system are thus guaranteed by the government, title insurance is unnecessary and real estate transactions can be carried out quickly and efficiently.
Mortgages in the Cayman Islands are called Charges and these are registered in the same manner as other real estate interests. Title becomes free and clear upon payment of all sums due under the mortgage. All types of real estate, including condominiums, may be mortgaged as security for a loan.
Non-caymanians can easily obtain loans in the Cayman Islands.
A payment of 10% of the value of the property is required
as a down payment. Interest rates vary so ask your real
estate agent for the latest rates. It is very difficult
to get a loan in another country to purchase property in
the Cayman Islands since this would leave the lending bank
no recourse in the event of default.
Homes and condos can be financed up to 30 years with no prepayment
Property and casualty insurance is readily available at a reasonable price.
The Cayman Islands do not have income, sales, property, capital
gains, death, estate, inheritance or corporate taxes. There
is, however, a tax on tourist accommodations and a departure
tax of 5% for airline passengers. Upon purchasing a property
on the islands, a one-time Stamp Duty payment of 7.5% on the value of the
property is assessed. The assessment is less the value of any
furnishings within the property. A 1% stamp duty is also assessed
against the mortgage amount. Import duties are applied to most
incoming items. This duty is typically 22% of the value including
transportation and shipping charges. Cayman Brac currently has
a moratorium on duty assessed against all construction materials.
Duty free concession is still on in Cayman Brac where if they
purchase raw land and commit to build within two years they
do not pay the 7.5% Stamp Duty and all of their building supplies
and materials are duty free.
Many people purchase homes or condominiums and offset the cost of the mortgage with the funds retained from renting. The condominium can be let on a short or long term basis. Contracting with the condominium management company to put the suite in the rental pool takes care of all the hassles associated with renting and taps into the aggressive marketing programs directed at condo rentals.