Emma Labrador, a Senior Associate Hassans' Property team, provides us with her insights into the Gibraltar property market and the change in investment behaviour following the pandemic.
Q: Now that economies are beginning to slowly recover post-pandemic, is there any industry in Gibraltar which you believe has remained unaffected during the pandemic, or which is expected to recover sooner than others?
The property market certainly appeared to remain unaffected by the pandemic, with a very high number of property transactions taking place in Gibraltar during that time. Lock-down encouraged many people to take the next step up the property ladder and purchase a new home and many of whom did not move house engaged in home renovation projects. It seems that spending so much time indoors made people give more thought as to where they were living and where they wanted to live.
After the pandemic we have seen a continuous volume of work in both residential and commercial properties both from local and international clients. There has been an increase in commercial property work, probably as a knock on effect from the re-start of the economy post-pandemic, with a higher demand in commercial premises.
Q: How have recent developments impacted your area of practice in Gibraltar?
Gibraltar has seen an influx of new property developments, resulting in a high volume of work for our property team. Arengo’s Gardens has recently completed with Bado’s Gardens and Sylvian Suites being the next developments due to complete. The Reserve, North Gorge, Forbes, Carlton House, Marina Club, the next phase of Mid-town are all under way and the next stages after that of even bigger developments such as Victoria Keys and the Eastside project are coming to fruition.
Q: What is the current state of the property market in Gibraltar?
The property market continues to thrive in Gibraltar with property prices continuing to increase. This makes the property market in Gibraltar extremely appealing to investors, property owners and landlords, many of whom are local. With land being so limited, prices per square metre continue to increase with some properties being sold at £8,000- £12,000 per square metre.
Q: What is the most noticeable change and/or shift you have noticed in the property industry over the last few years?
Whereas previously investing in the property market was thought to be coming from outside investors, with locals only dabbling into the property market, more recently we have seen a higher volume of local investors, both at smaller and larger scales. Additionally we have seen more locals taking on development projects.
As a result of high end developments being built in Gibraltar and now available, we have noticed a larger trend of residents using their funds to purchase within Gibraltar in higher end properties for their own family use. Whilst previously it was more common for families to invest in a second home outside Gibraltar, such as in Spain, it now seems that families are keeping their investments within Gibraltar and purchasing higher end or larger properties within Gibraltar for their own enjoyment.
If you're thinking of selling your property, it is also worth taking a read of my recent article in Insight Magazine which highlights the importance of ensuring the right permits and permissions are obtained so as not to delay the receipt of the all important Certificate of Fitness and risking the collapse of your sale.