After the events of 2020 it feels like folly to write a guide to the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria property market for 2021: So much in Gran Canaria depends on the speed of the vaccine rollout and the return of tourism.
But look forward we must because the end of the Covid-crisis is within reach. Covid or no Covid, Gran Canaria remains a wonderful place to live and own property.
That said, before we look forward, let’s unpick the effects of Covid-19 on the 2020 Las Palmas property market…
The impact of 2020 on Las Palmas property prices
With 2020 international travel and tourism at minimal levels the Las Palmas property market was slow. However, while the number of sales fell significantly prices didn’t follow them.
This is because while the market was largely frozen there were buyers out there for property that did go on sale. Prices were also underpinned by purchases agreed pre-Covid but delayed by the lockdown until mid-2020.
Some property, such as property with outside space, was in huge demand after the lockdown. Sales of penthouses and apartments with terraces happened at pre-Covid prices or even higher. This was especially true in des-res Las Palmas areas where there is high demand for quality property.
Property portal Idealista’s price stats for Las Palmas suggest that listing prices in Las Palmas city rose slowly throughout 2020. However, portal listing prices include a premium for seller optimism. This tends to disappear once sellers confront the reality of a buyer’s market. The number of Idealista “price reduced” alerts I get in my inbox suggests that this is already happening.
Tinsa stats, using valuations from actual sales and mortgage applications, shows that prices fell in late 2019 and early 2020. However, it hasn’t published data for Q2 2020 onwards; ironically citing market uncertainty as the reason.
Rental prices certainly fell in the second half of 2020: Tourist rental properties returned to the residential market and tenant incomes dropped on the Spanish furlough scheme (ERTE).
One welcome effect of 2020 was that many procedures associated with buying or selling property in Gran Canaria got easier. Paperwork moved online or can now be done via email, and it is now possible to buy and sell property without being on the island.
British citizens now face more bureaucracy when living or buying property in Spain. I’m preparing a detailed article about owning a property in Spain as a post-Brexit UK citizen.
Las Palmas property prices in 2021
The fate of Las Palmas property prices in 2021 depends largely on whether the tourist industry rebounds during the year.
If Gran Canaria starts to see tourists in significant numbers in summer 2021, prices may still fall but not significantly.
If tourism doesn’t return until the end of 2021, or beyond, prices will drop as the long-term damage to the local economy takes a toll. With few foreign buyers and a stagnant local market, a serious correction of property prices all over Gran Canaria is likely.
Buying a property in Gran Canaria in 2021
Given the uncertainty surrounding the market, buying property anywhere in 2021 comes with more than the average amount of worry about future prices.
However, most Las Palmas buyers purchase property for personal use rather than as an investment, especially with the Holiday Let market on Covid standby. If you plan to buy a property for lifestyle purposes and to use for years to come, the current price uncertainty is not such an important factor.
One bit of good news is that the Spanish banks are still lending with low interest rates to both resident and non-resident buyers. However, Covid has made them more cautious and the time between application and approval is longer. It can take months for a bank to send all your paperwork off to Madrid and get a reply.
Selling a property in Gran Canaria in 2021
During the lockdown my advice to clients looking to sell a Las Palmas property was “do it now”: Prices hadn’t changed and there were cash-rich buyers looking for quality property.
My advice in early 2021 is “do it now, or wait a few years”: Prices are still stable but will likely fall or stagnate throughout 2021. Buyers are already making offers and waiting for the ideal property, or for discounts. To avoid downward pressure on your property sale price, the only reliable option is to sit out the market. However, with rents dropping and tourist rental occupancy down. this may not be a viable option.
If you do want to sell in 2021, give yourself the best possible opportunity of achieving a good price: Work with a quality estate agent who…
- Works in exclusivity and is therefore willing to spend money and time marketing your property (photos, virtual tour, quality portals).
- Is associated with one of the large shared MLS or other Spanish property databases that advertises your property to all quality Gran Canaria agents.
- Lists your property on national and international portals to give your property the maximum possible exposure amongst buyers.
- Really knows the local Las Palmas market and has a proven track record of selling property that is similar to yours.
New build property in Las Palmas in 2021
Throughout the lockdown and the rest of 2021, construction of new build property in Las Palmas barely paused. This is because many buildings were already fully sold off-plan before Covid struck.
The property portals are currently full of new offerings with sparkly graphic images of what they will look like. As they are sold at a premium to second-hand property, the benefits must be weighed carefully against the risks (falling prices, delays, etc).
If you’re interested in a new build property in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, get good guidance. Off-plan buyers are heavily protected by Spanish law and your money is safe as long as the developer follows the rules.
I’m Laura and I’m Las Palmas resident estate agent. I’m one of the best-selling RE/MAX estate agents in Gran Canaria and help dozens of buyers and sellers every year. You can contact me any time.
IMPORTANT: This article is an opinion piece based on my experience in the Las Palmas property market. It should not be used as a definitive guide to price trends. If you’re considering buying a Las Palmas property, please contact me for a detailed chat about the best options for you.