Gibraltar: Property Development and Increasing Demand

08 May 18

Property development in Gibraltar continues seemingly unabated, with plans for a new sixteen-story multi-use building announced just last month. The pressures of increasing demand are fuelled by the attractiveness of Gibraltar as a jurisdiction for business, including financial services firms, which bring with them specialist and skilled teams seeking accommodation. This drive is largely for studio and one-bedroom properties sought by young professionals, some of whom are working on temporary projects and only require rental accommodation. However, it readily combines with existing demands for accommodation of various types including family-sized property, which has been made all the more urgent by the uncertainties of Brexit.

The prospect of potential loss of fluidity of movement at the border with Spain has increased the demand of properties for rent and for purchase in Gibraltar. Shortly after the results of the EU Referendum of 2016, the Government of Gibraltar introduced tax incentives in order to encourage an increase in supply of accommodation, specifically rental accommodation, and this is yet another factor that has seen an acceleration in the numbers of both new developments and upper town refurbishments in recent months.

This latest announcement by property developers, Forbes Property Ltd, appears to form part of that response to organic increase in demand. The development is to make use of a piece of land formerly known as the “Ready Mix site” and now used as a car park in Devil’s Tower Road, and which is situated in between existing mixed use multi-story buildings at the foot of the north face of the Rock.

The plans filed with the Development and Planning Commission include an underground car park with 26 spaces while a further 55 parking spaces will be provided on the second and third floors. The designs, by Gibraltar-based architects, Gamma Concepts Ltd., include a swimming pool, gymnasium and cafeteria on the ground floor, with office space on the first floor. From the fourth floor and upwards, the building will provide 63 apartments varying in size from studio flats to four-bedroom homes, the larger properties with their own terrace areas. The plans have yet to be considered by the Development and Planning Commission.

Gibraltar remains a popular choice for property investors who are still eager to purchase off plan and to take advantage of the tax breaks for properties that are constructed between 1st July 2016 and 31st December 2018 and are bought to rent. The developments announced recently are unlikely to be completed within the qualifying period for the tax break, however, demand is so far outstripping supply that property continues to appeal to investors whether for the slow but steady income of rentals or for the faster payouts of resale.