Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s fast urban bus system, dubbed the MetroGuagua, should make travel across the city much faster once it is running in 2021. [Read more…]
A UK estate agency recently announced that the best day to list your property is March 17 because most properties in the UK sell in the summer. Here in Gran Canaria things are different; ideally, you want to list in the autumn to make sure your property is visible to winter buyers.
Visits to for-sale property in Gran Canaria tend to peak during the winter months for two main reasons.
- Winter is peak tourist season and many buyers combine their property hunting with a holiday.
- Local buyers often invest just before the end of the tax year in December. Or they buy early in the tax year in January.
However, sales tend to peak in late spring as buyers who decided to buy in the winter get their mortgages approved and contracts are signed.
If you want to sell a Gran Canaria property, it’s best to have it fresh on the market during the winter season.
However, other factors affect saleability in Gran Canaria just as much as timing!
There are plenty of active buyers in Gran Canaria throughout the year and making sure your property gets as many viewings as possible is far more important than getting it online on a specific date.
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.
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.
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…]
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).
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.
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.
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…