From tropical weather and Mediterranean cuisine to multicultural interactions and duty free shopping not to mention the ever exciting dolphin safaris, what’s there not to like about Gibraltar. The summers are long and warm; perfect for getting an enviable tan and its no surprise a lot of people consider moving here permanently.
To top off the climate is of course Category 2 tax residency. This is a tax incentive offered by the Gibraltar government. With a Category 2 tax residency status you only pay a maximum tax capped at a little over £29,000.
North of Gibraltar, is expansive Spain which extends to the West of the Rock and you can see the port city of Algeciras in the distance.
Gibraltar is a small territory; it only measures 6.8 square kilometers and so it goes without saying that land on the Rock is a scarce yet precious resource. To highlight this is Gibraltar’s Airport runway which intersects with the busiest street on Main Street. Every time a plane has to land or take off, the road is closed off which means that getting in through the Spanish border becomes an exhausting affair.
While the rest of Europe has suffered in part (or whole) from the global economic meltdown, Gibraltar remains a financial safe haven for investments. This of course has seen property prices surge.
Much of the realty development tends to be on the West side of Gibraltar. With the Mediterranean side mostly occupied by The Rock, there’s not much view to enjoy; needless to say the sun always sets early.
Whether looking to move to Gibraltar for a couple of months or permanently, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste without burning a hole in your pocket. From budget rentals on a towering highrise to sumptuously decked out villas overlooking the horizon, Gibraltar easily becomes a home away from home.
Property Buying Guide
Here are some important facts to keep in mind before and during purchase of property on Gibraltar.
Determine what bank or building society you’ll be using before you pick out your dream house. You should also have a predetermined mortgage type and amount already set. There are plenty of banks on the Rock that readily offer financing including Barclays Bank, Credit Suisse, EFG, Bank Jacob Safra just to mention four.
Building societies in Gibraltar include Leeds Building Society, Newcastle Building Society, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society; the list is endless.
A little bit of research is needed to decide on which financial institutions are best placed to offer a fiscal perspective on your new property prior to purchase.
Placing a Deposit
Paying a 2% deposit to either the developer or estate agent is standard procedure.
All land in Gibraltar on which modern development is built is owned by the Government of Gibraltar which in turn leases it out to the development company for 150 years known as the Headlease. The development company can then grant an underlease to third parties.
Not all property however is leased out. Most of the older properties in the town area are have a freehold status. They are harder to get finance for though.
Nationalities That Can Possess Land Or Property
Only British subjects or citizens may own property in Gibraltar. Thankfully though there’s a way around this for foreign nationals who would like to own a piece of Gibraltar.
United Kingdom and Gibraltar registered companies may own property or land in Gibraltar. It is not uncommon for foreigners to procure property via a Gibraltar company. There are no set limitations on the nationalities of persons who may own a Gibraltar registered company.
It is necessary to arm yourself with some professional advice from a surveyor in order to protect yourself as the legal principle of “let the buyer beware” (Caveat Emptor) applies. Moreover the bank or building society that will lend you funding requires a survey of any property to be purchased.
Is A Solicitor Necessary?
Yes. A solicitor is extremely important during the acquisition of Gibraltar property and will handle a majority of the procedures. Getting a good solicitor should be considered top priority. The Gibraltar property market is “hot” and thus a good opportunity for development may be there one day and gone the next. Choose a solicitor who rides on their reputation thus reducing your chances of losing out on your investment.
Before embarking on a commitment with any solicitor find out what rates you are likely to be charged in the event that the sale falls through as this is frequent.
Solicitor fees range between £900.00 to 0.5% of the property buying price.
There are several management companies on the Rock to which property owners pay service charges, ground rent and general purpose rates. However, some leaseholders prefer to establish their own management companies to develop and manage their properties.
Capital Gains Tax
Gibraltar remains a tax friendly territory. There is absolutely no capital gains tax paid on the sale of property unless the company trades in the property market.
Tax benefits for Gibraltar home owners come in three forms:
- Tax Relief for first-time-buyers
- Tax Relief on mortgage interest
- Tax Relief on life assurance premiums
For a more in-depth understanding of these three tax benefits, it would be prudent to seek professional advice from a qualified consultant.
Gibraltar is more than a prime holiday spot; it’s a great place to live. Its strategic position on the southern tip of Europe makes Gibraltar a melting pot of different cultures; the Spanish living in the North, the English in Gibraltar itself (not to mention the local populace) and the vast African continent only 14 miles away.
With a rich history and a Mediterranean weather it would be a surprise if no one wanted to settle down here.
There are plenty of apartment rentals that dot the exotic landscape and plenty of them are located along the coast; giving you a stunning view of the spectacular seascape.
200 Both Worlds
Located on Sandy Bay, 200 Both Worlds suite apartments offer a serene ambiance embellished with a blissful view of the sea.
The decorations and furnishings are of pristine standard complete with a private balcony. For convenience there’s an elevator located a couple of meters from the apartments.
The 200 Both Worlds are ideal for couples (not so much for kids).
8 Nimbus, Tradewinds
Overlooking Marina Bay, the 8 Nimbus, Tradewinds is a delightful hub of Gibraltar hospitality. Featuring 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, this apartment suite also has free Wi-Fi, car parking and lift access.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, 8 Nimbus, Tradewinds is definitely something to be considered.
Sporting a state of the art fitness centre and self-catering amenities, King’s Wharf gives off an executive aesthetic in an exclusive apartment block. The available 500sq ft terrace offers a breath catching view of the Straights and Africa.
If you plan on staying longer than 2 weeks be prepared to offer references. King’s Wharf is the ideal place to stay on a winter sun getaway or cycling trips.
Furnished in chic taste, Crystal Seas oozes an artistic look and feel. Immerse yourself in a hot tub juxtaposed against lush tropical gardens or take a stroll down to Main Street.
Located within the famed Ocean Village complex, Crystal Seas offers its guests a prime choice of classy restaurants, bars and swimming pools not to mention some of the best views of Spain and the old town.
Gibraltar’s night life is vibrant; so long as you know where to go. Worth mentioning from the get-go is that many of the pubs around here are British with a touch of Spain.
Located on the lively Casemates Square, The Tunnel is one of the favorite spots (especially if you fancy a bit of karaoke). During summer, they close in the wee hours of the morning (5 a.m) and its something you want to consider especially if you are out with friends. The occasional live band creates an electric atmosphere that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Adjacent to the The Tunnel is the Latinos a restaurant/music bar. Established sometime in 2002, the Latinos has a range of excellent range of cuisine to offer making it ideal for either an evening meal or quick lunch.
Weekends are prime time for Latinos where anything goes, including table dancing. We’d recommend you don’t “break a leg”.
Don’t let the name fool you! No gentry found here. What you will find however is a collection of niftily themed nights. Starting from Thursday through Sunday you can indulge yourself in any of the planned activities from live bands and Karaoke to acoustic sessions on Sunday.
Lord Nelson is a great place to lounge whether you’re into the party scene or not. An eclectic menu replete with tempting delights the Lord Nelson is worth a visit.
A duty free shopping zone, Gibraltar’s varied range of shops offer an assorted list of products at an affordable price. Shops are mostly lined up on Main Street where you’ll find anything you’re looking for from textiles like cashmere and silk to more dynamic products like bespoke glass designers and even cutting edge electronics.
There are many cheap shops all over Gibraltar and finding the best deal sometime can be a hassle. But don’t let that concern you as we’ve listed down some of the best places worth checking out.
A family owned business located on Grand Casemates, Gibraltar Crystal will give you a piece of Gibraltar to take back home with you. One of the few glass blowing companies remaining, Gibraltar Crystal features both standard and custom-made glassware.
Gibraltar Crystal even offers glassblowing sessions under the tutelage of their practiced masters.
Marks & Spencer
Their store here in Gibraltar is in fact very British (no surprises there) and just like the ones at home, this one stocks a variety of men’s and women’s clothing not to mention other accessories such as Wedgewood porcelain or even the English Marmalade made from Spanish oranges.
Give your wardrobe a new look with something trendy, classic or just standard from the Next store. Next offers free delivery (to your doorstep!) in Gibraltar which definitely makes them stand out from the rest of their competition.
No holiday destination is ever complete without exotic cuisine and Gib is no exception. There are plenty of eateries available out here. Some of course are better than others.
With so many cultures in Gibraltar it goes without saying that the food also reflects this astounding diversity. Here’s some of our own favorite places.
Gibraltar’s best kept secret is no longer the surreptitious culinary treasure it used to be. The good food, delightful service and great value have made it a popular spot both with the locals and famished tourists.
What you’ll really like about the food is that the servings are generous, well executed and the ingredients top notch. Be ready to pay top dollar for it though.
Formerly known as Pizzaghetti, Gallo Nero offers a piece of Italy with its Roman palate. A perfect choice for late night dinner, breakfast lunch or even deliveries, Gallo Nero’s tantalizing menu offers a wide range of meals.
Located in Irish Town, Gallo Nero offers what we’d consider the best Sea Bass Papillote. So if you’re into seafood you definitely should stop by and give theirs a try.
Bean and Gone Café
Touted as a healthy food restaurant, Bean and Gone Café lives up to its reputation. An extensive menu covers everything from full English breakfast to a choice of low-carb meals for those watching their diets.
Besides making their own fresh vegan sushi on a daily basis their custom coffee blend is worth tasting- definitely among the best in the world!
The café’s relaxing atmosphere accentuates the wholesome experience.