Buying Gran Canaria property is a great idea because it's a nice place
to live and work, and has fantastic weather and modern infrastructure.
Depending on where you want to live, you can get houses to fit all
budgets. Homes in the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and on
beachfronts are more expensive than in smaller towns. If you can drive,
it doesn’t really matter.
If you want a great deal in Gran Canaria property, forget the idea of buying a house and consider buying a flat. Most people live in flats, with neighbours, and independent houses are more expensive.
is a great moment to buy Gran Canaria property. Owners are very keen to
sell, as the number of buyers has gone down due to two reasons:
1) Banks aren’t lending as before. Now they will thoroughly ask for collateral.
2) Unemployment rates are around 30% in the Canary Islands, due to the recession.
Be aware that the best opportunities are in non-premium areas, i.e. not on beachfronts or city centres. An apartment that costs 50,000 Euros in a area such as Playa del Inglés, can cost over 300,000 Euros in the Campo Internacional of Maspalomas.
The areas where you can buy a house depend on what type of Gran Canaria property location you are looking for:
1) Urban beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Houses in the capital of Gran Canaria with a beach! I recommend this option, as there is a lot to do more than just go to the beach.
2) Sun & beaches: If you want to be near the beaches, there are homes available in the following areas in southern Gran Canaria: San Agustin, Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas, Puerto Rico, and Mogan.
3) Rural countryside: If you prefer the tranquility of rural areas, there are homes available in the following areas of north and central Gran Canaria: Galdar, Arucas, Firgas, Santa Brigida.
Which is the best type of contract? I recommend a type of contract that allows you to try before you buy. This type of contract is a mixture of rent and purchase contracts. The buyer and the seller agree a fixed period of rent, and after that the buyer can use all or a percentage of all the rent amounts and deduct them from the purchase price agreed upon. This type of contract has two downsides:
1) The seller has to be willing to accept this type of agreement. Not all sellers will.
2) If the seller has financial troubles down the road, say in two years, and a debtor sues him, the buyer may lose the down payment.
First of all, you will need a NIE number, to be able to legally buy a house in Gran Canaria (and Spain). There are two ways to get this number: from your Spanish consulate or embassy in your country, or in Gran Canaria from the police office. If you are an EU citizen it only takes a couple of days. If you aren’t an EU citizen, some more documents will be necessary. The person who wants to buy the house must personally go and get this number.
Ninety percent of all foreigners who buy a house in Gran Canaria pay cash.
If you don’t have the full amount, a mortgage can be arranged. The buyer must pay 60% in cash, and then the Spanish banks will lend the remaining 40%. Following documents will be required: a translated income document, and a translated bank certificate.
When arriving at Gran Canaria, and buying a home, one must carefully choose a professionally certified real estate agent.
Check out whether they belong to an association of professionaly qualified and legally established real estate agents, such as Acegi (www.acegi.net), like Alejandro Zwanck.
I met Alejandro of Remax Cony Overseas about 5 years ago when I worked for a real estate website. Since then, prices of property soared due to the bubble and real estate agencies boomed. Then, the property bubble burst and all the non-professional agencies closed down. Professional agencies like Alejandro’s have prospered because of the honest and down to earth approach with which they treat all their clients. He gives good advice (in English!) and has a clean 15 year record.
He can also help out in renting your Gran Canaria property, as there is currently a huge demand.