Laura Leyshon from Las Palmas Property

5 Sneaky Las Palmas Property Pitfalls That Can Wreck Your Plans (And How To Avoid Them)

5 Las Palmas property pitfalls & how to avoid them

Las Palmas property pitfalls & how to avoid them

Most property sales in Spain are straightforward provided that someone has checked all the paperwork in advance. But occasionally, something comes up that can delay or even derail your purchase. 

Here are five potential Las Palmas property pitfalls that have come up in the last year (I sold 20 properties in the city in the last 12 months). [Read more…]

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Buying A House Or Villa In Las Palmas? Here’s Where To Find Them

Property buyer's guide to finding a house or villa in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

How to find a house or villa in Las Palmas

Lots of my clients want to buy a house or villa in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city.

The problem is that Las Palmas is a dense, high-rise city with few typical suburban areas. Houses, especially villa-style houses with gardens, are in short supply.

However, they do exist and the process of buying one is the same as for any other property. The challenge is finding a good one.

Here’s my guide to where to find a house or villa in Las Palmas city…

[Read more…]

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The Ultimate Guide To Getting A Gran Canaria Mortgage In 2017

Complete guide to getting a Gran Canaria mortgage in 2017

The complete guide to getting a Gran Canaria mortgage in 2017 by Laura Leyshon

Here’s pretty much everything you need to know about getting a Gran Canaria mortgage in 2017…

Getting a Gran Canaria mortgage

Getting a mortgage in Gran Canaria involves lots of paperwork but isn’t a particularly complex procedure.

However, depending on the bank and on your circumstances, it can take anything between seven days and four months to go from application to approval.

Here are a couple of vital points to bear in mind… [Read more…]

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How To Buy A Las Palmas Property In 2017

How to find and buy a Las Palmas property in 2017

How to find and buy a Las Palmas property in 2017

Are you planning to buy a Las Palmas property in 2017? Please read these tips fresh from the market first. 

I’m Laura and I’m Las Palmas’ resident property expert. This is my up-to-date advice about how to go about it. It includes the latest info on local mortgages, exchange rates, the Las Palmas property market and how to choose the best local help possible.

 

The Las Palmas property market in 2017

I couldn’t tell you the exact date when the Las Palmas property market changed. It was around Christmas 2016.

And so far the changes are only in the high-demand areas close to Las Canteras beach.

The market just flipped from a buyer’s market (as it had been since about 2008) to a seller’s market.

Why?

Because demand is rising, there’s a lack of quality property on sale, the holiday and residential rental markets are booming, and the local banks are finally offering decent mortgage deals.

The change makes a big difference to foreign buyers coming to Las Palmas to buy a property.

  • In early 2016 all buyers were offering 10-15% below the listing price and expecting to get a discount. Now, buyers have to pay close to the market price (or even offer more for properties with rental potential).
  • Until recently, you made an offer and signed an arras contract with a mortgage clause. In 2017, many sellers don’t want arras agreements with mortgage clauses. They know there are other buyers waiting with the funds ready to go.

What this means to buyers is that you need to have you finances in place early in the process.

Getting a Gran Canaria mortgage in 2017

The local and Spanish banks in Las Palmas are relaxing their mortgage terms and there are good deals out there due to low interest rates.

The thing about Spanish banks is that they are all run in a top-down way. The decision about your mortgage is never made here in Gran Canaria. Instead, all the paperwork goes to headquarters.

Nothing that your the bank in Las Palmas says matters until Madrid agrees.

Several buyers I know fell foul of this in 2017. They got assurances from their local branch here in Las Palmas and put down a deposit only to find out that the bank had changed its terms.

Go to several Las Palmas banks

This is why I urge all Las Palmas property buyers to apply for several different mortgages. Most applications need similar paperwork and banks often accept it electronically.

The extra effort is more than worthwhile if ‘computer says no’ at the last minute at your preferred bank.

I advise going to an online bank such as ING Direct (be prepared for a long paper trail), a big Spanish bank such as Santander, and at least one or two others that offer decent mortgage terms (such as Sabadell, BankInter, Bankia, etc).

While the online banks often offer good terms, they are also stricter about their loans. Online banks in Spain can be absolute pains when it comes to demanding extra paperwork.

Another option is to use a local mortgage broker to apply to many banks for you. They charge a fee but do make sure that nothing is missing from your application.

Also, given that interest rates are low and that US interest rates are set to rise, a fixed-interest mortgage deal is well worth considering.

Get a mortgage approved in advance

The market is moving fast in the areas where most foreign buyers want to own a property in Las Palmas. So, it is vital to get your paperwork into the banks before you try and buy a property.

Knowing how much you can borrow is important but in a fast market it’s the time saved that is most valuable.

Paying for a Las Palmas property in cash

If you have the funds ready to buy you are in a strong position. You can move fast and are at an advantage over people who depend on the banks.

Be aware that all transfers these days have to be electronic due to money laundering laws. You must have a Spanish bank account open before you need to transfer any money from home to Spain.

Renting out your Las Palmas property in 2017

The tourist rental market in Las Palmas is booming to the extent that it’s looking like we are in a bubble…

Everyone with a rental property is on the portals and the pile of Tourist Rental Licence applications gets bigger every day.

For the right property, a well-laid-out, well-decorated apartment close to the beach, preferably with outside space, tourist rental is an excellent long-term idea.

Of course, the right property in other areas also rents out well. Period apartments in and around the Old Town, apartments with views close to shopping areas, etc.

But, there’s a good chance that supply will soon exceed demand in Las Palmas. This will push down occupancy levels and the amount owners can charge.

Before you invest in a tourist rental property, make sure that you buy one that is future-proof. And get good advice about the right areas and property types.

At the moment, residential lets are also booming with rents rising and demand high. The downside of renting your property out long-term is that you can’t use it when you want to.

For more on renting, see my detailed Las Palmas property rental guide.

Choose a good Las Palmas estate agent

With the market starting to move, there are new estate agencies opening in Las Palmas every week. Some are new franchises from Mainland Spain, and independent agents setting up offices. Others are one-man-bands with a mobile phone and little else.

For buyers, this influx of new agents adds a layer of uncertainty…

Big agencies like RE/MAX Cony Overseas care about their reputations and the properties they show. But, not all agents and agencies are as thorough.

As a buyer you want to be sure that your agent is looking after your interests. You want to work with someone who values your satisfaction and their reputation more than they value their next cheque.

Since sellers pay agency fees, my advice to all buyers is to choose an established agency and one that is part of the shared property database.

It gives you legal guarantees and peace of mind.

There is no need to take risks when buying a Las Palmas property.

Buying property in Las Palmas in 2017?

As Las Palmas’ resident estate agent, I specialise in helping foreign buyers to buy a Las Palmas property that suits them.

I’m with you during the entire process from the first enquiry right through until you have the keys and settle in.

As a professional estate agent, I make sure that you find a property that suits you and understand each stage of the sale process.

Buying property in Las Palmas is safe and while there is a fair bit of paperwork, it can all be done with no risk and (relatively) little hassle.

A major benefit of working with me to buy a property is that I am a RE/MAX agent and can show you almost any for-sale property in the city.

And, because many of my clients come to me thanks to recommendations it is very important for me to make sure that I provide the best possible service to everyone.

If you have any questions about the Las Palmas Property market, please feel free to contact me for a chat.

[Read more…]

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The Las Palmas Property Market: 2017 Report

The Las Palmas property market in 2017: Property price and rental yield predictions from local estate agent Laura Leyshon

What awaits the Las Palmas property market in 2017?

With demand, residential rents and rental yield all rising, I predict a busy year for the Las Palmas property market in 2017. [Read more…]

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All Non-Resident Las Palmas Property Owners Must Pay Income Tax

Non-resident property taxes in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and how to pay them

Non-resident property taxes in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Tax is as inevitable in Las Palmas as it is everywhere else, even if you are a non-resident property owner. 

The good news is that the tax burden of owning a Las Palmas property is low. The city doesn’t charge for rubbish removal and there is no equivalent of monthly council tax.  [Read more…]

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Ultimate Guide To Buying A Las Palmas Penthouse

Image introducing the ultimate guide to buying a Las Palmas penthouse apartment by Gran Canaria estate agent Laura Leyshon

How to find and buy a Las Palmas penthouse apartment

A Las Palmas penthouse is everyone’s dream property in the city because of the extra light, the views and the quiet.

They are so popular that many estate agents in the city have a queue of people waiting to hear about new penthouses. This is especially true if they have outside space and a good view.

As you can appreciate, top floor properties tend to sell fast so if you’re looking for a Las Palmas penthouse apartment, here’s my guide to finding and buying a quality one. [Read more…]

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Golden Visa Investments In Gran Canaria & Las Palmas

Getting a Spanish Golden Visa by investing in Las Palmas property

Getting a Spanish Golden Visa by investing in Las Palmas property

Las Palmas' foreign buyer specialist Laura LeyshonA guide to the Spanish Golden Visa system for Gran Canaria property buyers, written by Las Palmas’ foreign buyer specialist Laura Leyshon

Non-EU citizens can get Spanish residency and even citizenship by investing €500,000 in property anywhere in Spain.

The investment can be in one large property or a portfolio of small ones that add up to the value of 500K. While investing in several properties increases the upfront cost of getting a Golden Visa, it also allows you to build a portfolio of rental investment properties and generate an excellent return on investment. [Read more…]

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Las Palmas: An Ideal Property Location For Those Living & Working in Africa

Africa and the Canary Islands

Gran Canaria is right between West Africa and Europe

This year I’ve received several property enquiries from people from all over the world who live and work in Africa.  Helping them has been fascinating and I’ve found out so much about the oil and mining industry in Africa and about NGO work all over the continent.

So, I though I have a look at why Gran Canaria, and Las Palmas in particular, is such a good location for professionals working in Africa and looking for a base for holidays and modern work facilities. [Read more…]

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Brexit Schmexit: Your Las Palmas Property Is A Euro-Making Machine

Owning a Las Palmas property generates a rental income in euros

Earn euros with a Las Palmas property

Waiting for the results of Britain’s EU Referendum before deciding whether to buy a Las Palmas apartment? Or worried that buying abroad might be financially risky?

Here’s why you don’t need to worry, and why owning in the city is an investment rather than a risk. [Read more…]

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