CANARY ISLAND PROPERTY GUIDE
Area: 7,447sq km
Population: 1.6 million
People: Spanish, North African, small Latin American and northern European communities
Language: Spanish; Castilian
The Canary Islands are a group of seven major islands and six smaller ones in the Atlantic Ocean, lying between 60 - 190 miles off the north western coast of Africa.
The Canary Islands are a group of seven major islands Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, Gomera, Hierro and six smaller ones Alegranza, Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste und Lobos) in the Atlantic Ocean, lying between 60 - 190 miles off the north western coast of Africa. With a preferred climate and constant temperature through all the year, and splendid beaches of fine sand.
The Canary Islands are Spain's tropical paradise and for Spaniards living in mainland Spain as they are for the hundreds and thousands of foreign tourists who pack the islands' resorts all year round.
Las Palmas brings together the major island of Gran Canaria and the lesser ones of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Santa Cruz de Tenerife encompasses Tenerife and its satelite islands of la Gomera.
The original inhabitants of the Canaries were a race known as the Guanches, a name derived from guan, meaning man or people, and achinch, meaning white mountain in an obvious reference to Tenerife's snow-capped Mount Teide. The natives lived a Stone Age existence of shepherding and basic agriculture.
Bajada de Nuestra Señora de las Nieves
Is the premier religious festival on Isla de la Palma, but is held only every five years.
February/March is the wildest time, and brings several weeks of parades, fancy dress and general good times across the islands.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Hosts several important arts festivals, including the Festival Internacional de Música (January); the Festival de Opera (February-March); the Festival de Ballet y Danza (May); and the Muestra Internacional de Cine, an international film festival held every two years in October and November.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Party rivals the Rio Carnaval. From 21 to 30 June.
A sub-tropical paradise that offers something for everyone. The island is dominated by the now dormant volcano "Mount Teide", which at 12,000ft is the highest mountain in Spain. To the south, the ever popular resorts of Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos are basked in year round sunshine, whilst the north of the island is a lush green tropical paradise of banana plantations, palm trees and flowers.
Lies 60 miles off the coast of Africa and has a population of less than 100,000. Whilst tourism has overtaken more traditional aspects of the economy, the Island has successfully maintained its heritage and charm. It is a tribute to the conservation effort seen on the island, that Lanzarote was declared a world Biosphere by UNESCO in 1993. Due to its location on the Tropic of Cancer, Lanzarote boasts sunshine all year round. The Island has several resorts that offer beaches of golden sand. Lanzarote has numerous opportunites for sightseeing, and its scenery, culture and history make it an ideal holiday location. Whether you wish to lie on the beach, surf or visit places of interest.
Has a mixture of landscapes and vegetation from mountains, to desert to tropical. Sandy beaches are abundant.The mountain range in the island's centre rises to 2,000 metres. Many colorfully painted houses can be seeen in the islands capital of las Palmas.
The Canary island with the oldest history and has the longest beaches of all the archipelago, of wonderful fine sand. Only a narrow channel separates Fuerteventura from the African continent. It is a paradise equally for spending holidays at the beach as for fishing. There are great beaches even very close to the islands capital, Puerto Rosario.
Buying Property in Spain
Buying a Spanish property will normally be contained in a private contract with a deposit of around 10% payable which is binding by law. It is possible to agree a contract where either party may change their minds at a financial cost. The private contract should contain details of the agreed deposit payment, purchase price and details for payment of the outstanding balance of the agreed buying price plus any additional extras and your intended completion. A Notary will prepare the official contracts and make sure it complies with Spanish regulations. If there is common ownership a Community of Owners must be established through which community charges can be shared. If your property is contained in an apartment block then the law will relate to the Horizontal Division and this should be clarified, especially in new developments. Any property sale or purchase in Spain should be registered in the Land Registry and its important to make sure any relevant taxes are paid before this is done.
It is common practice for the sale and purchase price to be understated by Spanish sellers, enabling them to reduce their tax liability and reducing your stamp duty fees. However, you could be liable for Capital Gains tax on additional profit once the true price is declared and non residents will normally be expected to deposit 5% of the sale proceeds with local tax offices until any agreements are reached, and could have liability by both seller and buyer if the profits or in excess of set limits around Pt2,000,000.
You would expect to pay a total of around 10% of the purchase price for realestate in Spain. This could include Stamp duty, charged at 7% of the official selling price (4.5% for the Canaries), and 0.5% for contract documents Land Registry is charged against a rateable table held by local authorities. There will also be a tax on the increase of the land your property lies on since it was last sold and should be paid by the vendor. Notary fees will also be included in the total costs.
All your Spanish property taxes will be based on the official price registered, not on selling prices and you would expect to pay under 1% annually, plus additional service taxes set by the local authority. Wealth tax charges apply for residents after 17m ptas of net assets; if you don't apply for residency you could be charged tax for all your net assets. Rate varies from fractions of a percent to over 2% depending on net assets. Click Here for more info.
Spanish lenders will allow you to borrow against Spanish property and can usually be arranged in most major currencies normally over terms of up to 15 years, with exception of 25 years at up to 80% of the buying price. Click here to arrange a mortgage in the Canary Islands, Spain.
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