While writing the 2020 guide to the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria property market, it occurred to me that there is a big unanswered question about the future.
If the Las Palmas property market keeps growing, who are the buyers?
In the last few years the city’s property market was boosted by two main sets of buyers.
- Locals who wanted to upsize after staying put during the crisis and its aftermath.
- Holiday let investors buying apartments to take advantage of high yields.
Both these groups are now probably a spent force in the property market. Most couples and families have up-sized already, while holiday let investors have stepped back now that the market is close to saturation.
Foreign buyers are important in Las Palmas but there isn’t much reason to expect a big surge in the near future. Tourist numbers have dropped and the European economy is going through a wobble.
This leaves the future of the Las Palmas property market in the hands of two sets of buyers.
Local Millennial first-time buyers, and residential rental investors.
Will Millennials ever buy property in Las Palmas?
Now moving into their thirties, most Millennials in Gran Canaria are renting in shared accommodation, renting apartments, or still living with their parents.
Some people say that they will always be a renting generation but I doubt it. Low mortgage interest rates mean that many are paying more in rent than they would in mortgage repayments. And the Millennials are now starting to think about the future and starting their own families.
Research suggests that most Millennials want to own their own home and see real estate as a quality investment. What has held them back was a lack of jobs and savings.
Even if the Millennial generation doesn’t or can’t buy, it will still be the driving force behind the property market.
Residential landlords in Las Palmas will have to tailor their properties to suit Millennial tastes.
What do Millennials want to live in?
Given that most Milennials are now approaching their 30s, I think most will skip the one-bedroom starter apartment. Instead, they will choose apartments with two bedrooms minimum.
A generation raised with Instagram wants well-finished and decorated homes. It favours open-plan property over the long corridors of older Las Palmas apartments. Millennials want entertainment space more than a large kitchen. Many will choose storage space over a parking place (they are environmentally conscious and use public transport and bike lanes).
Most will want a furnished apartment because they haven’t accumulated their own furniture. In fact, the generation used to ordering everything on their mobile with just a few clicks is going to want their property delivered “ready to go” with all furniture, fixtures and decor in place.
So, the ideal property for first-time Millennial buyers in Las Palmas is: A new two-bedroom apartment with an open plan kitchen and living room and plenty of storage.
If I was in the market for a residential rental property in Las Palmas, it’s what I’d buy and decorate to Millennial tastes.