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 […]
One of the great advantages of living in Las Palmas city is that you are never a couple of minute’s walk away from a shop. Between local shops, supermarkets and the markets, you can buy almost anything in the city and there’s a great range of fresh and local produce.
Little shops in Las Palmas
The city’s little groceries, known as estancos, are still going strong by offering everything from roast pork sandwiches to lottery tickets & last-minute piñatas to local fruit and veg. They are more expensive than the supermarkets, but who wants to wade into a big supermarket when all you need is a loaf of bread or a bunch of ripe bananas?
Recently there’s been a boom in fruterias selling nothing but fresh fruit and veg. Most have a good range of local and imported stuff and can be very cheap if you buy local, seasonal produce. Their fruit, especially local ones like bananas, papayas and mangos, tends to be better than the ones on sale in the supermarkets.
These little shops get their local produce direct from the farm so their bananas have never been refrigerated; they are always sweeter than supermarket bananas.
Most, but not all, small Las Palmas shops close on Sundays.
The big Las Palmas supermarkets
Las Palmas has half a dozen large supermarket chains with supermarkets dotted throughout the city. Since Canarians tend to cook from scratch they all have a decent range of fruit & veg. Many offer home delivery in the local area. Some Mercadonas will even scan and bag and deliver your shop; all you do is leave the trolley, swipe your card, give them the address, and go home.
The main local company is Hiperdino and it does a good job or competing with larger international rivals. Hiperdino shops (also Superdino) offer a good range of food and home products are reasonable prices. They all have fresh fruit and veg along with a fish, meat and cold-cuts counter.
Locate your nearest Hiperdino supermarket.
Spar has an excellent presence in Las Palmas and also offers a wide range of produce at good prices. Most Spar shops are smaller and are a bit light on choice.
Mercadona is a Spanish brand and is probably the best-value option in Las Palmas. It has a good range of fresh fruit & veg, plus a big selection of meat and cheese from all over Europe. Mercadona also sells things like big pots of fresh yoghurt, kefir, wholegrain bread, Cheddar cheese and Kalamata olives.
Hipercor and Supercor supermarkets are the upmarket chain in Las Palmas and are run by the El Corte Inglés department store. They tend to be significantly more expensive than rival supermarkets, but do have an excellent range of local wines as well as quality meat and seafood. The supermarket in the basement of El Corte Inglés department store on Mesa y Lopez is huge; it’s not cheap but it does stock a wide range of foreign treats.
There’s an Hipercor in the Siete Palmas shopping centre, and a Supercor on Calle Fernando Guanarteme.
Carrefour has three supermarkets in Las Palmas, including the big one at Las Arenas shopping centre at the south end of Las Canteras beach. Carrefour sells everything from clothes and electronics to food. It has a good selection of local and international produce, including French wines and cheese, plus a small international food section with good bacon and lots of treats from all around the world.
Lidl is moving into Las Palmas and is competitively priced. Its bread and croissants are good, it has plenty of fresh veg, good yoghurt and excellent vale-for-money wine. However, so far I’ve found that there isn’t really any reason to go out of your way to shop at Lidl.
Eroski has one huge hypermarket in the El Mirador shopping centre just south of the city at Jinamar. It’s huge and sells everything but there really isn’t any need to drive there to do a shop when you have so many other options within the city.
Alcampo is the biggest and best value supermarket in Gran Canaria. It’s located at the out-of-town La Estrella shopping area in Telde (between Leroy Merlín and Ikea) and has a huge range of almost everything. Its fruit & veg, meat and fish selections are unmatched.
Not that you still need photo ID to pay using a debit card at Alcampo (even with chip & pin).
Some SPAR and Hiperdino shops open on Sundays.
Las Palmas local markets
The main Las Palmas fresh food market, called the Mercado Central, is on Calle Galicia just south of Mesa y Lopez between the Puerto district and Alcaravaneras. The ground floor stalls sell everything from freshly-ground coffee to local and imported fruit & veg, local cheese, meat and fish. It’s an excellent place to shop for fresh local produce and some stalls deliver what you buy to your door.
The Mercado del Puerto is at the north end of Las Canteras beach on Calle Albareda is a good mix of tapas and food stalls and local produce vendors. You can’t miss the lovely, wrought iron building.
At the other end of town, the Mercado de Vegueta is also set in an old building but is more about the produce than the tapas. Look out for the beautifully-decorated fruit stalls that sell the widest range of tropical fruit on the island.
For people living up the hill, the Mercado Municipal de Altavista sells an excellent range of fresh produce.
The Sunday market at San Lorenzo, a small village just 15 minutes away from Las Palmas by bus, has an excellent range of local fruit and veg, cheese and bread. It’s best to be there before 11 am when the hordes arrive from Las Palmas.
Further inland, Santa Brigida has a weekend market with a good wine stall, and the vast San Mateo market (Saturdays and Sundays) sells an incredible range of fresh fruit and veg. Both are east to get to by bus from Las Palmas and get crowded after midday.
Organic food in Las Palmas
La Zanahoria on Calle Galicia, right opposite the front door of the Mercado Central) sells a wide range of organic fruit & veg, cheese and other food (and wine).
SPAR Natural on Calle Juan Manuel Durán sells a wide range of organic and health food products.
There’s a really good list of organic shops on the Gran Canaria Ecologica website. Several can arrange box deliveries of fresh, local produce.
Specialist food shops in Las Palmas
The Chinese supermarkets on Calle Barcelona right by the Mercado Central sell a huge range of Asian food and some locally grown Chinese veg such as bok choi and yams. There are several on the street and it’s worth visiting them all as each one has a different range. Don’t miss the freezer cabinets for even more Asian veggies like bamboo shoots, nd some exotic options like whole crabs and salted jellyfish.
For fresh Kimchi and Korean-style tofu, visit the Korean supermarket just around the corner on Calle Valencia.
Godhwani’s on Calle Los Gofiones 59 (at the north tip of Las Canteras beach) is an old-school emporium that seems to sell everything. It stocks a huge range of teas, spices, Asian treats, etc.
This super-useful article was written by Laura Leyshon: Las Palmas’ resident British estate agent. If you want somewhere to live as well as to shop, you know who to contact.
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.
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Most people who live in Las Palmas rent an apartment; the rental market is moving fast at the moment so here’s my guide to searching for a place to live in the city.
The Las Palmas property rental market is currently high on demand and low on supply. Finding a good place to live at short notice is pretty tricky, especially if you want to be close to Las Canteras beach.
There are a couple of good reasons for this…
The first is that most people, local and foreign, want to live in the flat part of Las Palmas close to the beach.
The second is that a lot of residential property is now being rented out as holiday lets; short-term rental was legalised in the city in 2015 and the market is currently booming.
Good news if you own a property, not so good if you want to rent one.
The cost of renting a Las Palmas Property
Studios and one-bedroom apartments close to the beach cost at least 600 euros per month and up to 750 euros, depending on location and on whether they have outside space. A two-bed place costs upwards of 900 per month and three bedrooms will set you back well over 1000 euros per month.
As you move back from the beach and up the hill, prices drop in line with the distance from the flat part of town. In the high parts of the city you can rent three bedrooms for 700 euros per month.
Tenants pay the owner a month’s deposit and the first month’s rent in advance. Some owners ask for two month’s rent as a deposit if their apartment is well furnished or if you have a pet.
In most cases, you don’t have to pay anything else. However, it is legal for the property owner to include clauses in the rental contract that make the tenant liable for the monthly community charge (for lift and communal area maintenance) and even the annual IBI property tax.
Your rights as a Las Palmas rental tenant
See this article for a full guide to your rights as a tenant in Las Palmas & Gran Canaria.
Finding a Las Palmas rental property
It’s almost impossible to find a long-term rental property in Las Palmas before you arrive. Flats rent out fast and owners are not willing to wait for a tenant who isn’t on the island.
So, I advise you to book a holiday let apartment for the first few weeks you are in the city or stay in a hostel, co-working space, or cheap hotel. This way you know you have somewhere to sleep (and an internet connection) while you look for a long-term place to live.
The portals are the best place to start looking and to get a feel for prices and availability. Check them regularly as good rentals don’t stay on the market for long these days.
Note that many rentals advertised on the portals are listed by estate agents.
Using an estate agency to find a rental property
If you are in Las Palmas and ready to move into a flat, having a good agent scanning for new rentals is a good idea; agents see the latest rentals before they go onto the portals.
Estate agencies in Las Palmas charge a month’s rent as commission when they rent out a property. This fee is paid by the tenant.
So, if you use an agency you have to pay out three month’s rent in advance; one for the commission, one as a deposit, and one in advance.
Las Palmas property rental hacks
Many older owners still don’t trust the internet so it’s always worth walking around looking for signs that say ‘alquiler’.
Also, some owners don’t use agencies and rely on word-of-mouth to rent their apartments so it’s always worth asking in local shops and bars.
The porters in big buildings often act as unofficial letting agents and know if anything is about to become available.
Another option is to scan holiday rental websites like Airbnb and ask owners if they are willing to let you rent long-term. Most owners with property close to the beach will say no, but you may be lucky if you target properties in residential areas of the city away from the sand.
The best months to look are in the slowest months for holiday lets; May, June and September.
If you want to rent a room rather than a flat, look in Facebook groups like Rent & Share Gran Canaria. It’s also worth checking noticeboards in language bookshops and academies, and even up at the University in Tafira.
Las Palmas Property
I’m Laura Leyshon, Las Palmas’ resident British estate agent. If you’re looking for an apartment to rent in the city, please feel free to contact me with the details.
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Soon, you’ll be able to whizz the length of Las Palmas on a fast, bendy bus.
Las Palmas’ revolutionary new BRT bus system will be called MetroGuagua. It will use buses with capacity for 200 people that run in their own lane, have priority at traffic lights, and come at five-minute intervals.
The new buses will go between Hoya de la Plata (by the Carrefour in the south of the city) all the way north to Manuel Becerra in La Isleta.
Work on the route is expected to take five years in total and will happen in stages to minimise disruption.
The first phase, including work at Hoya de la Plata, Pío XII and Rafael Cabrera, is due to start in March 2016, take a year to complete and cost 6.5 million euros. The total budget for the MetroGuagua route is 100 million euros, of which 50 million is already in place thanks to the European Investment Bank.
The most expensive section will be the Vegueta bit because it requires tunnelling and reclaiming new land from the sea.
The MetroGuagua vehicles will be electric or hybrid and the local Guaguas Municipales bus company plans to buy 17 of them between 2019 and 2021.
Interestingly, the MetroGuagua route is identical to the route that was originally mapped out for the Gran Canaria train tracks. If the train ever happens, it looks like it won’t be coming into the city.
I live and work in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and I love the pace of life and the lifestyle you get in the Canary Island’s biggest city. Here are five reasons why living in Las Palmas is a healthy choice. [Read more…]
A few quirks of living in Las Palmas that I’ve learned to love about living in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city.
Parallel parking: It’s easy
Yes, lots of people around the world find it a challenge but if you’re living in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria you know that all you need is a parking space one centimetre longer than your car.
Here’s how you do it…
Line your car up parallel to the car parked in front of your space so that your wing mirrors are in line and one metre apart.
Turn the steering wheel as far as you can towards the pavement and reverse until the road just disappears out of view in your wing mirror.
Stop and turn the wheel one 360º turn away from the pavement. Reverse back a little bit, then start turning the wheel away from the pavement and reverse slowly.
You’re in the space, and you didn’t even have to touch park.
Las Palmas street numbers start at the beach
Any street in Las Palmas that ends on a beach ( Las Canteras, Alcaravaneras) has numbers that start from 1 at the sand. The higher the number, the further you are from the sand.
What about streets that don’t touch a beach? There’s no rule so you just have to work it out as you go along.
Summer in Las Palmas starts in September
The rest of the Northern Hemisphere has summer during summertime but not Las Palmas. Here in Gran Canaria’s capital, summer starts the day the kids go back to school in the middle of September.
It’s when the Trade Winds fade and the pesky Panza de Burro (Donkey Belly) clouds that hang over the city in July and August fade way.
Instead of Autumn, we get blue skies, hot days and stunning sunsets from mid-September until well into November.
All that late sunshine also means that the sea is lovely and warm right up until Christmas.
You can only shop on Sunday during cruise season
Sunday trading isn’t allowed in Spain, but Las Palmas lets some of its shops open on Sundays during cruise ship season. After all, we can’t have the Panama hat crowd wandering around and not have anywhere to spend their money.
So you can go shopping instead of going to the beach on Sundays in Las Palmas, but only from mid-October to May when the big ships are in town.
You visit museums on the first weekend of the month
Because that’s when they’re free.
You never buy bananas in a supermarket
Supermarket bananas spend ages in cold storage and never ripen properly.
Why buy a cellophane-wrapped bunch of bruised, green platanos when you can pick up a bunch of fragrant yellow ones from the nearest little shop?
You can’t order coffee and the bill
You’ve eaten your meal and you’re in a bit if a hurry so you ask the waiter for a cortado and the bill.
The coffee arrives, but you never get the bill at the same time. Once you’ve finished the coffee, then you can ask for the bill.
Trying to mess with the natural order of things just won’t work.
Oh, and you don’t have to say “la cuenta por favor” to get the bill. Just put your hand in the air, catch the waiter’s eye and autograph the sky.
It just works!