Overseas property
Kicking it on the Canary Islands: places to buy residential property and holiday homes
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Kicking it on the Canary Islands: places to buy residential property and holiday homes

The Canary Islands have 50 Blue Flag beaches
The Canary Islands have 50 Blue Flag beaches

The Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwestern coast of Africa, are a Spanish territory and one of the country’s autonomous communities. The administrative centre of the community alternates between Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

The Canary Islands comprise the three most popular tourist destinations in Spain. According to the local Canaries Statistics Institute (Instituto Canario de Estadística), 13.3 million tourists visited the archipelago in 2015, and about 14 million visitors came in 2016. Eight local airports connect the islands with 85 countries.

The Canary Islands are also popular among foreign buyers of property in Spain. As reported by the General Council of Spanish Notaries (Consejo General del Notariado), in H1 2016, foreign citizens participated in 44.2% of the real estate transactions on the Canary Islands, the highest transaction count in the country.

The Canarian real estate market is one of the most developed and stable markets across Spain. It suffered comparatively less from the 2008 crisis than other regions of Spain and proved to be more resilient thanks to the absence of any abrupt price jumps. One of the reasons for the stable growth of local prices is the lack of the free development land, due to which demand always exceeds supply. However, Canarian real estate is on average 30% cheaper than, for example, Balearic or Catalonian property. According to the data from Idealista.com, the average residential property price on the Canary archipelago amounted to €1,300 in September 2016.

The archipelago is a chain of seven islands stretching west to east:

El Hierro: the Wild West

El Hierro is the smallest of the seven main Canary Islands. Its infrastructure is not thoroughly developed, but what attracts tourists are the unique flora and fauna of the island. The island was proclaimed a biosphere reserve in 2000, and it may soon become the first "green" island, using renewable energy sources to fulfill its own needs.

One of the most popular El Hierro resorts is La Restinga. The town has first-rate seafood restaurants and superb supermarkets, but its main landmark is Reserva Marina de La Restinga, a marine reserve popular among divers. The tourists coming to El Hierro often choose to stay in Tamaduste, a village near a small bay, as well.

The bay near Tamaduste
The bay near Tamaduste is also known as a "natural swimming pool"

New development is almost totally restricted on El Hierro. Newly built properties can only appear in a relatively small area of the island and be traditional-style homes no more than two storeys high. An 80 sq m detached house with a swimming pool and a land plot costs €190,000, while five-bedroom villas sell for nearly €450,000.

La Palma: vast expanses of greenery under a starry sky

La Palma is the greenest island of the Canaries: about 35% of its territory is covered with pine and laurel woods, banana plantations, vineyards and orange groves. The most popular forms of entertainment the island offers are hiking, boating and stargazing. A large international observatory, Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, situated in La Palma annually attracts multitudes of astro-tourists, not counting the professional astronomers.

La Palma is the greenest island of the Canaries
La Palma is the greenest island of the Canaries

The most well-known resorts on the island are Puerto Naos and Los Cancajos. Puerto Naos is a small and quiet village with apartment complexes. the local dark sand beach is the most extensive on La Palma. Coastal villas with swimming pools and gardens sell for over €430,000 here.

The coves of Los Cancajos, which is located on the east coast of La Palma, are perfect for diving. A third of the local beaches boast a Blue Flag. Los Cancajos is where most newly built properties of the island are concentrated. The price range for one-bedroom flats starts from €65,000, and four-bedroom apartments cost €150,000.

La Gomera: serenity and privacy

La Gomera is not the most touristic island of the Canaries: visitors are unlikely to find any large, modern resorts here. However, those looking for a serene place with privacy can view this as an advantage. The properties of La Gomera are mostly bought as holiday homes, not investment assets or rental estates.

The touristic centre of the island — Valle Gran Rey — has plenteous beaches, boarding houses and restaurants. Valle Gran Rey includes four villages: La Calera, La Playa, La Puntilla and Vueltas. The picturesque La Calera is nicknamed the Montmartre of La Gomera; the local property prices are among the highest on the island. One-bedroom apartments sell for about €120,000 here.

The picturesque La Calera
The picturesque La Calera is nicknamed the Montmartre of La Gomera

The second largest resort of La Gomera is Playa de Santiago. This place has several tennis courts and a golf course; it is also famous for its pristine beaches and modern hotels.

The amount of residential structures being built on La Gomera is small. Small, detached houses with sea views sell for €150,000 on average here, while prime three-bedroom villas with swimming pools cost upwards of €670,000.

Tenerife: landmarks and entertainment

Tenerife is the island most popular among property buyers and tourists. It has well- developed holiday infrastructure, including two international airports, three Michelin-star restaurants, nine golf courses and 12 Blue Flag beaches.

The largest resorts and the best beaches on the island are located on its southern coast, while the more traditional settlements with authentic atmosphere and a great number of landmarks are concentrated in the north.

The most popular resorts in the southern part of the island are Playa de las Américas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje. Playa de las Américas is known for the best bars and nightclubs on the island. Los Cristianos houses Tenerife's largest yacht marina, well-equipped beaches and the main market on the island. Property prices in Los Cristianos start at €200,000-250,000 for two-bedroom flats with terraces and at €500,000 for villas.

Resorts with the best beaches and hotels in the south of Tenerife
The most modern resorts with the best beaches and hotels are situated in the south of Tenerife

The most famous resort of Northern Tenerife is Puerto de la Cruz. One-bedroom apartments sell here for €80,000-120,000.

Gran Canaria: summer all year long

The climate of Gran Canaria is warmer compared to the rest of the Canary Archipelago. The winter air temperatures are about 18-22ºC, and the summer temperatures oscillate between 25º and 29ºC. In 1996, Thomas Whitmore, a climatologist at Syracuse University, composed a top 600 list of the cities with the best climatic conditions; Las Palmas, the largest city on Gran Canaria, ranked first on the list.

Foreign nationals most often buy property in the south of the island at the resorts of Maspalomas, Meloneras, Playa del Inglés and San Agustín. These locations have well-developed holiday infrastructure, a year-round swimming season and a wide array of properties: prices for apartments start at €50,000, bungalows and single-family homes cost upwards of €80,000-100,000, detached houses and duplexes cost at least €200,000 and chalets and villas cost over €300,000.

The most famous resort of Gran Canaria is Maspalomas. It houses the largest Canarian water park, Aquasur, as well as the Holiday World amusement park. Apartments in Maspalomas cost upwards of €100,000 in the town, and prices for villas start at €500,000.

Wide beaches of Maspalomas
Maspalomas has wide, sandy beaches

Meloneras is also known as the local Beverley Hills. Expensive villas, many of which their owners later rent out to tourists, abound in this market. the resort has boutiques, fashionable restaurants, luxurious sandy beaches and a golf course.

Fuerteventura: wild windsurfing and beach vacations

The main feature and landmark of Fuerteventura is its beaches with light, fine sand that stretch virtually endlessly. The ever-blowing wind makes the island popular among windsurfers. At the same time, Fuerteventura is not as densely populated as the other islands of the archipelago. The centre of the island is almost uninhabited.

Fuerteventura is the best spot for windsurfing on the Canaries
Fuerteventura is the best spot for windsurfing on the Canaries

The largest resort of Fuerteventura is Morro del Jable. The town is divided into the old part, complete with narrow streets and taverns where freshly caught fish and other seafood are served, and the new part, which boasts plenty of hotels, apartment buildings, shops and restaurants. A two-bedroom townhouse of 80 sq m costs about €110,000 in Morro del Jable.

The Corralejo resort is also popular among tourists. Holidaymakers come here to enjoy the beautiful views on the Lanzarote and Lobos islands, sunbathe on the beaches south of the town centre and play water sports. Flats in Corralejo cost €100,000-130,000 on average.

Families with young children and those who take vacations at a slower pace will find the Caleta de Fuste resort suitable. The houses constructed on the bay shore here form a horseshoe.

Lanzarote: marvelous landscapes and exotic architecture

Lanzarote is often called La Isla del Fuego ("the Island of Fire") for having over 300 volcanoes. The surface of the island is covered with black, pink, purple and yellow, hardened lava and has practically no vegetation. Lanzarote not only has moon-like landscapes, but is also decorated with some of the fanciful creations of César Manrique, a local artist and architect.

César Manrique's amazing works
César Manrique's amazing works can be found everywhere on Lanzarote

The main resorts of Lanzarote are Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise. Puerto del Carmen is the most expensive and longest-standing resort on the island. It has a picturesque old town, a port, six kilometres of beaches, countless shops, several nightclubs and numerous restaurants. Villas with swimming pools are priced anywhere from €450,000 to €1M here.

Despite the abundance of restaurants, bars and shops, Playa Blanca is considered a quiet resort and attracts families with children. Costa Teguise has several low-rise complexes with white bungalows, a waterpark, a golf course, windsurfing schools, a yacht marina, a shopping centre and several sandy beaches, the best of which is Playa de Las Cucharas. A two-bedroom apartment in a residential complex with a swimming pool in Costa Teguise costs €150,000.

Tranio recommends the following locations on the Canary Islands:

  • for nature and privacy lovers: El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera
  • for adventure seekers: Tenerife and Lanzarote
  • for families in search of a comfortable holiday destination: La Gomera, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria

Julia Gushchina, Tranio.com

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