How to find a place to live in Gran Canaria

Finding a place to stay is the main concern of most new digital nomads and coworkers when they arrive in Gran Canaria. We recommend the following strategies for a hassle-free arrival.

Arriving and finding your first place

The best way to find your feet in Gran Canaria, and especially in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is to book a short-term place in advance.

If you rent a holiday let for a few weeks, it gives you time to get to know the island and the property market.

Almost all short-term rentals include a decent WiFi internet connection.

We advise you to book your first place via an established booking website. These give you the best range of options and have secure payment systems.

Another option is to book a bed or a room in one of the island’s many hostels. While most modern hostels are in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria but there are also options in south Gran Canaria, and in more rural areas.

You can also book a hotel. There is a huge range of options in Gran Canaria, but check reviews and transport links before you opt for the cheapest room on offer.

Another excellent option is coworking spaces, that offer accommodation as well as workspace. They also offer the advantage of plugging you straight into island’s thriving nomad and entrepreneurial scene and are the best place to meet like-minded people.

Short- and mid-term options

If you plan to spend less than a year in Gran Canaria, it can be a challenge to find a place quickly as most property owners either rent short-term to tourists or ask for a minimum of a year’s contract.

However, the high demand for medium-term rentals means that more owners are willing to consider intermediate rental periods.

Again, try the booking websites as some owners are happy to offer a significant discount if you plan to spend more than a month in their property.

Coworking spaces are also a good place to ask as they often know of owners who are happy to rent to nomads and professionals.

Other places to look are Facebook Groups, like Rent & Share Gran Canaria, where owners and agents share new rental properties and online Spanish property portals.

Note that many properties listed on these sites are represented by estate agencies and they charge the tenant a month’s commission. You can also try speaking directly to local estate agencies as they often know about new rental properties before they are listed online.

An important local tip is that most Canarians use Whatsapp and their mobile phones to do any sort of business. If you don’t get a reply to your emails, don’t hesitate to call or message people instead.

Short term rental costs

Rental costs vary depending on the location, the time of year and how long you want a property for.

The cheapest time to find a short-term property rental is in May and June and then again in September. Prices rise for the winter season when lots of tourists and retired people come to the island to escape the European winter.

Short term rental costs start at around €25–30 per day for a room or a studio in areas away from the coast. In the resorts and in areas of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria close to the beach, you’re looking at a start price of €35–40 per night for a studio. A one bedroom apartment costs a minimum of €40 per night with two beds starting at around €50 in a central location in Las Palmas city.

Medium-term rental costs

Prices for rental periods of less than a year are somewhere between the cost of short-term and long-term rentals.

Expect to pay €1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment close to the beach and over €1,300 for two bedrooms and above.

There is often plenty of scope for negotiation and you need to check what is included in the price; things like utility costs and internet access are not always included in the headline rental rate.

Renting a long-term property

Almost all long-term rental properties in Gran Canaria are listed on the popular online portals.

Building concierges are also an important source of information as they always know if a property is coming up for rent in a building a long time before anywhere else.

Most residential property owners in Gran Canaria want a minimum contract of one year so you are at an advantage if you plan to spend 12 months or more in Gran Canaria.

You’ll have to pay the first month’s rent in advance and an additional month’s rent as a security deposit.

If you find a place via an estate agency, you’ll also have to pay their commission which is almost always one month rent.

Many owners like to see proof of earnings and/or work contracts before they rent to people who have just arrived on the island. It’s worth bringing good quality copies of any paperwork that documents your employment and/or income.

Note that even though almost all owners insist on a year’s contract, Spanish law allows you to move out after six months provided that you give 30 days notice in writing.

Do read your contract carefully as owners have the right to put in a clause that obliges you to pay them a percentage of the rent if you do leave before the rst year is up.

Other things to watch out for are clauses that make the tenant responsible for paying local property taxes and community fees. They are legal but can be negotiated before you sign.

Once you have spent a year in a rental property, you automatically have the right to remain for a further two years unless the owner needs the property for personal or family use (or wants to sell it).

There’s a useful summary of your rights as a tenant in Gran Canaria here.

Long-term rental costs

A studio or small one-bedroom apartment costs a minimum of €350 per month in areas away from the coast.

A room in a shared house costs a similar amount but normally includes electricity, water and internet costs.

Expect to pay at least €500 per month for a small at in a resort area or in Las Palmas (€600 if it is close to the beach or in the harbor district).

If you are set on living on the Las Canteras beachfront, bear in mind that you will need patience as front-line apartments are in high demand.

Two bedroom apartments in central locations cost €600 per month and upwards, while a three bedroom apartment in Las Palmas in a location within walking distance of the beach will cost a minimum of €1,000 per month.

Two bedroom apartments in central locations cost €600 per month and upwards, while a three bedroom apartment in Las Palmas in a location within walking distance of the beach will cost a minimum of €1,000 per month.

Prices away from the coast and in the areas of Las Palmas well back from the beach are much lower. A one-bedroom apartment for €350 per month is reasonable.

Buying a property in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is an excellent place to own a property even if you don’t plan to live permanently on the island.

The property market is well regulated and property rights are enshrined in law.

After ten years of falling prices, the market is picking up in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and other high-demand areas of the island.

The costs associated with buying add up to approximately 10% of the purchase price (around 6.5% in purchase tax plus notarial and property registry fees).

Estate agency fees in Gran Canaria are paid by the seller and factored into the advertised sale price so you have nothing to lose by working with a good estate agent when looking for the right place to buy.

Most agents working for professional agencies can show you any property via the island’s shared database system so it’s worth seeking out a good agent rather than contacting lots of them.

Cost of owning a Gran Canaria property

Once you own a property here the ongoing costs are relatively low.

Take into account that you must add up to the purchase please the following upfront costs:

  • 10% of the purchase price in tax, notarial and registry fees.
  • 20-30% mortgage deposit.
  • a variable sign-up fee.

Once you have your own property, the local town hall will charge you an annual property tax (IBI) that rarely comes to more than a few hundred euros per year. The exact cost depends on the size and type of property you buy.

If you buy an apartment or on a residential complex you also have to pay a monthly charge for community expenses. This covers the costs of maintaining the communal areas such as lifts, doors, gardens, etc. It is normally between 50 and 100 euros per month and you can pay by direct debit.

Non-resident property owners have to do an annual tax declaration, pay tax on their rental income, and pay a sunshine tax called Impuesto sobre la Renta de No Residentes (IRNR) if they own a property in Gran Canaria but don’t rent it out when they are absent from the island.

If you plan to buy a property and rent it out when you aren’t in Gran Canaria you can either let it short-term to tourists, or long-term to residents. Both models have their advantages but bear in mind that you do need a license if you offer holiday lets.

Getting a mortgage in Gran Canaria

EU citizens and people from countries such as Canada, USA, and Australia have little problem getting a non-resident mortgage with Spanish banks.

Other nationalities don’t normally have a problem either but should factor in extra time for credit checks and get documentation.

Non- residents a pay a slightly higher interest rate and a higher deposit (the standard is 20% for residents and 30% for non-residents).

Mortgage applications involve a lot of paperwork and you will be asked to provide a lot of documents that prove that you have the assets and income to guarantee your mortgage.

The process can take as long as three months to start planning in advance if you want to buy a Gran Canaria property.

We strongly advise you to apply to several banks so that you have the best chance of getting a good deal.