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Thursday 26 November 2009

4th Quarter Boost in Property Sales In The Canary Islands

With the majority of 2009 behind us it is becoming easier to piece together a picture of how the Canary Islands and in particular Gran Canaria’s and Fuerteventura’s property markets have been moving this year. Compared to mainland Spain the Real Estate market in the Canaries have enjoyed a certain amount of ‘cushioning’ due to its unique geographical position, endless summer climate and restricted supply of luxury second homes, however it has not escaped the general effects of the downturn over the last 18 months with property prices levelling earlier this year.

Higher sales figures this quarter are no doubt due to the specific price deals available on selected products as no doubt were Q1/2 sales when prices had ‘bottomed’ after a long slide in 2008. GoldAcre Estates reported that the return of buyer confidence in Fuerteventura was quite noticeable in Febuary / March showing particular interest in 1-2 bedroom luxury apartments which offer increasingly higher returns as prices had fallen against potential rental incomes.

Resorts in Corralejo like Oasis Papagayo and Oasis Tamarindo were the biggest movers as these had the added advantage of large swimming pools, lush tropical gardens, security and extra sports facilities which make them ideal for holiday rentals. Others like Oasis Royal, Dunas Residential and Atlantic Gardens were a little slower to react to the market changes but offered high value due their central positions closer to the main tourist centre and beaches. In fact GoldAcre Estates said it was not uncommon to see multiple purchases for these style of apartments.

To begin with, Sterling rates dampened the return of the UK investor early in the year and many British buyers lost out to new European markets including the Netherlands and Italy in particular which have not been affected by the need to exchange their monies as they are already euro based.
New flights from these areas including Poland also helped transfer these ‘holiday’ markets into the second home ownership market with buying interest mainly in the North Island of Fuerteventura.

The luxury villa section also saw growth as private owners and specialist developers offered limited price deals. The villages of Lajares, Villaverde, and to a lesser extent La Oliva and El Roque caught the attention of those who may have never considered these areas due to budget constraints. 3-4 bedroom detached villas with large private pools and 1000m2+ plots in a quite country setting yet 10 mins from the beaches were on occasion lower than the magical €300k mark.

Surprisingly despite recent macro economic conditions the trends still follow traditional historic patterns with the main sales in the periods either side of summer holidays. During August as many public services close for holidays including some Notaries and lawyers offices there are fewer exchanges of contracts plus the main holiday markets are busy enjoying the beaches rather than scouting for their next property purchase. August 2009 however saw a high interest level with many visitors taking a serious look at apartments and villa offerings. This has also been extended into the winter season .

In fact the increase of flights to Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria will be a big factor for Q4 as already Christmas flights are becoming booked out. For those existing property owners and clients of Goldacre Estates, Christmas in their second homes in the Canaries never looked brighter.

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