Cranes on the Skyline and property opportunities

11 Jan 18

Gibraltar’s skyline is dotted with cranes. The Rock’s silhouette is punctuated with the outlines of new buildings as Gibraltar’s property market continues its vibrant activity and developers bring imaginative designs to the city. These were the observations from a group of travellers on a flight landing at Gibraltar International Airport on the first Sunday of January 2018, punctuated by a returning university graduate exclaiming: “When did they build that by the school? I haven’t seen that before!”


The undergraduate was referring to Ocean Spa Plaza, due for completion later in 2018. This particular development is already making a significant impact to the urban landscape, not just in its immediate vicinity surrounded as it is by scaffolding and cranes, but in the view of the Rock from the airport and the frontier with Spain. With more equally ambitious developments planned for starts this year or in the very near future, such as the Hub and Eurocity to name just two, Gibraltar’s skyline is set to remain punctuated by cranes for a while yet.


Despite the inevitable disruption that cranes of various heights and sizes may make to the aesthetics of a cityscape, these do, nevertheless, represent a degree of economic drive and productivity that can only be beneficial in terms of providing opportunities at a number of levels. 


For property investors, they signify the buoyancy and steady increase in property investment opportunities. Demand for rental property continues to be strong as the Gibraltar jobs market shows no sign of shrinking; there are over 12,000 and growing numbers of cross-border workers many of whom would prefer to reside within Gibraltar when more residential property becomes available. This is fuelling the steady growth in residential properties currently in the pipeline for building. It also encourages investors to increase their property portfolios and home owners to expand to buying second properties in order to take advantage of the potential yields through buy-to-let.


For local people, the issue of the supply of appropriate family-sized homes is a pertinent concern and the issue of “affordable” housing for lower income families is a matter that Government will be looking at closely. Both of these issues will also bear an influence on the continued presence of cranes hovering about the city as the market adapts to the impact of these specific demands with either Government, private developers, or indeed, a combination of the two, seeking to mitigate housing needs as well as provide opportunities to property investors.  


Without a doubt, the cranes and the constant change in the view of Gibraltar’s skyline signify opportunities as well as building activity and point to prosperity. It is highly likely that Gibraltar’s skyline, as well as Gibraltar’s property market will continue to look remarkably busy throughout 2018.