The Big 6 Advantages Of Buying A Las Palmas De Gran Canaria Property

The Big 6 Advantages Of Buying A Las Palmas De Gran Canaria Property

6 Major Advantages Of Buying A Las Palmas De Gran Canaria Property

Buying an apartment or even a townhouse in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city has some serious advantages. Here are the big six…

You can use your property all year round without packing a jacket

Las Palmas has a mild climate throughout the year with temperatures rarely dropping below 20ºC. This means you can use the city’s incredible beach and a vast range of outdoor cafes and restaurants all-year-round.

Unlike the Mediterranean and the rest of Spain, there is no real closed season in the Canary Islands and Las Palmas city is a fun place to be even during the depths of ‘winter’. For example in February, often the wettest month in Las Palmas with an average of eight days of rain per year, the city is buzzing thanks to the annual carnival.

All property can be rented to tourists

All property in Las Palmas city is classified as residential and you can, therefore, apply for a tourist rental license (Licencia de Vivienda Vacacional) and rent it on a short-term basis to holidaymakers.

With tourism is Las Palmas booming all-year-round, and the rules for holiday rentals in Gran Canaria’s resorts so complex, the city is an ideal place to invest in a rental property that you can also use for holidays whenever you choose.

More on holiday rental investment property in Las Palmas.

Residential rental yields are amongst the highest in Spain

Residential rents in Las Palmas have risen by 22% in the last year. This is due to high demand (everyone wants to live by the beach), a lack of new building in the last 10 years, and the booming tourist rental market (owners are renting short-term rather than on an annual basis). Spain’s cultural attachment to owning property rather than renting also plays a big part; most Canarians buy a property to live in as soon as they can rather than rent.

Residental rental properties are in short supply and high demand, making them an excellent investment that is much lower-effort than a tourist rental investment. The disadvantage of letting on a long term basis is that you can’t use our Las Palmas property whenever you want to.

The right one-bedroom apartment in the beach areas of Las Palmas (not on the front) currently rents out for 600 euros per month. Not bad given that you can buy them for just over 100,000 euros.

Prices are close to historical lows and the future is bright

Prices in Las Palmas city fell by almost 40% in the decade after the global crisis that started in 2006. They have only really started to rise in high-demand areas of the city within the last 12 months.

With tourism booming in Gran Canaria and Las Palmas, the Canarian economy recovering well, and sustained demand from both local and foreign buyers, the long-term prospects for Las Palmas property are positive.

Prices rises are being driven by pent-up demand from locals looking to upsize, sustained foreign buyer interest, and old-fashioned lack of supply. With the locals banks still being careful with lending, there isn’t even a whiff of the speculation-driven bubble that pushed up prices in the early 2000s.

That said, if you buy in a high-demand area of Las Palmas, the market is busy and you will always know that you can resell when you want to. The property market close to the beach has the major benefit of liquidity.

Owning a property in Las Palmas is cheap

Buying a Las Palmas property costs you around 10% on top of the price you pay (in purchase taxes, notary and registry fees, etc). This is pretty much standard across Spain.

However, once you own a property in Las Palmas, your annual tax costs are remarkably low.

There are no municipal taxes for things like rubbish collection, and no monthly council tax.

Owners only pay an annual (IBI) tax on the land your property occupies. This is levied by the local Ayuntamiento and is rarely more than a few hundred euros per year.

If you are a non-resident owner and choose not to rent out your property, there is also a small annual tax.

All you have to pay is for electricity, water, internet and cable TV if you want it, and the monthly community fees if you buy an apartment in a building with communal areas.

Las Palmas city tops the rankings

Las Palmas ranks in the top 5% of cities worldwide when it comes to quality of life, according to website Numbeo.com.

Numbeo factors in a wide range of things that affect lifestyle, such as commute times, air quality, weather, cost of living, etc and comes up with an aggregate score for each city. Las Palmas’ score is amongst the highest out there.

The city also has the cleanest air of any city in Spain, the most pleasant urban weather in the world, a world-class city beach, and low crime rates.

In short, Las Palmas is a great city to live in.

Las Palmas city just gets better and better

I’ve lived in Las Palmas city for almost 15 years and I can tell you from experience that it is getting better and better.

The restaurants and bar scene is buzzing (new rules mean that rooftop bars are now allowed and they are popping up fast), the city is investing in parks and green spaces, and the bike lane network gets better all the time.

Add to that a thriving cultural scene with an auditorium, several theatres, live music almost every weekend and lots of local fiestas and Las Palmas is a place that it is hard to get bored of.

Oh, and did I mention Las Palmas’ five beaches? What about the surfing, and the snorkelling, and the running tracks?

Las Palmas Property

I’m Laura Leyshon and I’m Las Palmas’ resident British estate agent. I speak fluent English, Spanish and French and my job is to help buyers looking for their ideal Las Palmas property.

I work for RE/MAX Cony Overseas, one of the city’s oldest and most prestigious estate agencies, and can show you almost every for sale property in the city.

I help my buyers throughout the entire process of finding and buying a property in Las Palmas.

Please feel free to contact me for a chat at any time.

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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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Canary Islands Real Estate Industry 56% Smaller Than In 2006 (& Why That’s A Good Thing)

The healthy recovery of the Las palmas de Gran Canaria property market in 2017

Las Palmas property figures and market

The latest Spanish Ministry of Development figures show that the Canary Islands real estate sector turns over just 44% of what it did in 2006 just before the global subprime crash.

The industry turned over 2600 million euros in 2016 compared to 6.100 million euros in 2006; a drop of  56%.

While this sounds like a serious problem it really isn’t.

The Canary Islands real estate market (along with the rest of the Spanish sector) was in a huge bubble back in 2006 and dropped sharply once the crisis took hold.

For example, in 2011, the sector turned over just 1.717 million euros. In contrast, last year’s figure was the highest since 2008.

After a decade of correction, prices are now back at reasonable levels and the market is looking healthy.

The figures point to a gradual and (most importantly) controlled increase in real estate activity; a healthy rather than a heady rise.

See the figures here in La Provincia newspaper here (PDF). 

In support of this assessment, the general secretary of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s Federación Provincial de Entidades de la Construcción (Fepeco; the Tenerife construction industry body), Isidro Martín, has recently stated that he expects 2017 to be a transition year before a healthy recovery in 2018. He expects the real estate market in the Canary islands to rise by 20-30% over the medium term (referring to turnover rather than property prices).

To back up his assessment, we have figures from BBVA Research, (the research department of BBVA bank) which found that the number of real estate transactions in 2016 rose by 12.1% across the Canary Islands (the average across Spain was 13.9%).

BBVA Research also reported that the affordability-to-risk ratio for Spanish families is currently 30% above the long-term average meaning that they are currently well-placed to buy property. This is mainly due to lower prices and low interest rates.

BBVA Research did warn that the number of sales to foreign nationals is significant in the Canary Islands and that Brexit could weigh on the market in areas of high foreign demand (especially due to the fall in the value of the pound against the euro).

The Las Palmas property market

How does this all affect the Las Palmas property market?

Las Palmas is a busy city and there is plenty of pent-up demand from locals who are looking to upsize after years of recession and strict mortgage conditions from local banks. Tourism in Gran Canaria is at record levels and local employment is growing.

All in all, it looks like a positive year for property in Gran Canaria and Las Palmas; residential rental rates in Las Palmas are increasing, the banks are being more reasonable, and the tourist rental market is also pushing up demand for investment properties in high-demand areas of the city such as Las Canteras beach and the Puerto District.

I’d expect the number of transactions to rise this year and prices to remain level or increase slightly all over Las Palmas in 2017/2018 (barring any outside economic shock). The high-demand areas in the Puerto and around the beach, where prices are already rising, will lead the way.

As evidence for rising prices in Las Palmas, the Spanish property portal Idealista produces a detailed breakdown of the prices of second-hand property across Spain. The latest report, including figures for Q1, 2017, shows that while property prices in the Province of Las Palmas (including Gran Canaria, Lanzarote & Fuerteventura) are flat, they rose  in Las Palmas city by 0.5% in the past 12 months and were up 2.1% year-on-year in Q1 2017 (see page 15 and image below).

Las Palmas property price rise chart for 2016

Idealista also tracks monthly price fluctuations in Las Palmas.

As for Brexit, while non-residents are a significant minority of buyers in Las Palmas, the high demand from locals and other nationalities is likely to mitigate any drop in demand caused by Brexit worries and the weaker pound.

Further Reading

Getting a Las Palmas Mortgage in 2017

How to buy a Las Palmas property in 2017

Guide to the taxes and fees involved in buying a Las Palmas Property

I’m Laura Leyshon and I’m Las Palmas’ resident British estate agent. I specialise in helping foreign buyers and sellers in the city and I’m always available if you have any questions about property in Las Palmas and the surrounding areas.

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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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Huge New Las Palmas Building Planned

Location map of the huge new building project in Guanarteme, Las Palma

Location map of the huge new building project in Guanarteme, Las Palmas

The Guanarteme district of Las Palmas is about to get 300 new apartments if a new build project comes to fruition.

A 20-strong investment consortium that includes Satocan (owners of the Gran Canaria Sheraton) and the Dinosol supermarket group plans to resurrect a 300-property building project from the pre-crisis days.

The group now owns the 8000m² build site (the guide price was €30m) that was originally acquired and cleared by the now-defunct Spanish company Martinsa-Fadesa. It planned to put up a huge 13-storey building called the Gran Guanarteme but went bankrupt before building started.

The plot in question is at the western end of Mesa y Lopez street and is bordered by Mario César, Fernando Guanarteme and the Plaza de América.

The site already has permission for up to four buildings that can be 10, nine and seven storeys high although there are no public plans for what the new investors plan to build.

We do know that the consortium plans to start work before the end of 2017.

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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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Want Every Estate Agent In Las Palmas To Sell Your Property?

How to get every estate agent in Las Palmas to sell your property

Effective Las Palmas property marketing tips

When you sell a property, you want as many estate agents as possible to work hard to find a buyer.

I’ve got great news: It’s easy to do:

First, you choose the best estate agent you can find. [Read more…]

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In Defence Of Las Palmas’ ‘Cloudy’ Weather

Las Canteras beach on a sunny dayLas Palmas is the city with the most pleasant climate in the world. But, when you look at a Gran Canaria weather forecast, you often see the north coast and Las Palmas under cloud even when the rest of the island is sunny.

So what’s going on?

There’s no doubt that Las Palmas is cloudier than the resorts in south Gran Canaria and even Agaete in the north-west corner of the island.

It’s because the Trade Winds blow from the north and pile up cloud against the steep northeast coast. The result is that Las Palmas gets more cloudy days than the rest of the island but is also sheltered from extreme temperatures.

It can be 43ºC in south Gran Canaria during a calima and not make 30ºC in Las Palmas. In winter, when the cloud-free southern skies leak heat, it drops to 14ºC at night while it’s rarely below 18ºC in the capital.

Another benefit is that the Trades blow away traffic fumes and make Las Palmas the city with the cleanest air in Spain.

What is a pleasant climate anyway?

The Syracuse University study that declared Las Palmas’ climate the world’s most pleasant didn’t just factor in hours of sunshine per day. It looked at a wide range of things like average temperature, lack of extreme weather events, and rainfall.

Overall, it found that Las Palmas’ climate was ideal for its residents. it’s one thing to holiday in

Everyone loves a blue sky, but it’s one thing to holiday in perpetual sunshine, quite another to live and work in it.

If you’re planning a holiday in Gran Canaria and just want to bake on the beach, maybe you’re best off going south. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll get sunshine in Las Palmas, but you will also see clouds most days.

However, if you like a bit of history, culture and cuisine to go with your suntan, then Las Palmas’ mild weather has its benefits. For example, it’s a lot easier to tour the art galleries and museums at 25ºC than it is at a baking 35ºC. And if you live and work in Las Palmas, cool days are a blessing.

And, of course, if you want sunshine, you just hop in the car or get a bus to the resorts or to Agaete and you’ll be under the blue dome within 30 minutes.

Live or stay in Las Palmas’ pleasant climate and pop south for a blast of sunshine whenever you want. It what’s we do and it’s the best of both worlds. 

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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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