A Top Destination for International Property Buyers - The Canary Islands

21st September 2023


The Canary Islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa, have long been a popular destination for tourists and second home buyers from around the world. With their year-round sunny climate, beautiful beaches, and laidback lifestyle, it's easy to see why so many foreigners dream of owning a slice of paradise in this Spanish archipelago.

In recent years, the Canary Islands have seen a surge in international property buyers, especially from northern European countries like the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, and Russia. LeadingRE Destinations team believe there are several factors driving this trend:

Lifestyle Appeal


The Canary Islands offer a relaxed way of life in a mild, sunny climate - a major pull for many northern European buyers. After enduring long dreary winters, the chance to wake up to sunny blue skies almost every day is a dream come true for many. The islands have something for every lifestyle - from peaceful villages to buzzing tourist resorts. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy swimming, sailing, hiking, golfing, cycling and more. The cuisine, wine, and culture add to the islands' appeal. For city dwellers, Santa Cruz and Las Palmas offer cosmopolitan amenities.

Investment Opportunities within the Canaries


While lifestyle is the primary motivation for many buyers, the Canaries also offer attractive investment potential. Property prices are rising but remain affordable compared to other southern European hotspots like Spain's Costa del Sol. The strong demand from tourists and foreign buyers provides good potential for rental income and capital gains. Property Webmasters the leaders in Estate Agent SEO believes over-reliance on tourism has risks. Investors should perform due diligence and partner with local experts. Marinas, golf courses, holiday home complexes and commercial investments offer options beyond vacation rentals.

Residency Incentives to move to the Canary Islands


The Canaries offer a valuable bonus for non-EU buyers - the chance to gain residency status. Buyers from outside the EU who purchase real estate worth €500,000 or more gain the right to apply for Spanish residency visas. This provides access to the EU and Schengen Zone - a major perk for buyers from Russia, the Middle East, Americas and Asia. While taxes are higher for non-residents, the ability to live and work freely across Europe is a big draw.

Improving Infrastructure in the Canary Islands


Ongoing infrastructure projects are expanding the islands' appeal. Upgrades to airports and seaports, new highways, upgraded hospitals, expanded resort amenities, and new developments have reduced the islands' remoteness. A boom in luxury marina projects like Marina Lanzarote and Gran Canaria's Pasito Blanco is attracting superyachts. These improve accessibility for foreign buyers and create hotspots for property development.

The most popular islands for international buyers are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura. These larger islands offer more amenities, infrastructure, and things to do. Prime locations include beach resorts in the south and coastal villages in quieter northern parts of the islands.

While the pandemic led to a temporary slowdown, 2021 and 2022 have seen a resurgence in foreign demand. Pent-up demand, combined with limited supply, is creating a seller's market in many areas. Experts predict the Canaries will remain a top second home destination as northern Europeans seek out the island lifestyle.


Frequently asked questions for International Buyers

Q: What makes the Canary Islands a top destination for foreign property buyers?

A: The Canary Islands appeal to foreign buyers due to the year-round sunny climate, laidback lifestyle, beautiful beaches, affordable property prices compared to other Southern European destinations, and the chance to gain EU residency rights.

Q: Which Northern European countries are driving demand in the Canary Islands property market?

A: The main countries driving property demand in the Canary Islands are the UK, Germany, Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark) and Russia.

Q: What are some of the lifestyle factors attracting foreign buyers to the Canary Islands?

A: Lifestyle factors include the sunny climate, outdoor activities like sailing, hiking and golf, the relaxed pace of life, vibrant culture and cuisine, and cosmopolitan amenities in cities like Las Palmas.

Q: How can the Canary Islands provide good investment potential?

A: Investment upside stems from strong tourism and foreign demand driving rental yields, future capital gains, and affordable prices compared to other Southern European markets. Investors should analyze risks too.

Q: What residency benefits do the Canary Islands offer property buyers from outside the EU?

A: Non-EU buyers who purchase real estate valued at €500,000 or higher can apply for Spanish residency visas, allowing access to live/work across the EU.

Q: How is new infrastructure enhancing the appeal of the Canary Islands for foreign buyers?

A: Upgrades to transport, hospitals, resorts, marinas and new developments have reduced remoteness and created hotspots for property investment.