I’m Laura Leyshon and I’m Las Palmas’ resident property expert. I work for RE/MAX Cony Overseas, one of the city’s oldest estate agencies and the first RE/MAX office to open in Europe. Cony Overseas has an excellent local reputation and has helped hundreds of foreign buyers and sellers in Las Palmas and all over Gran […]
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.
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.
With demand, residential rents and rental yield all rising, I predict a busy year for the Las Palmas property market in 2017. [Read more…]