“The Puerto Banus of the Canaries?” This label may have seemed a little unlikely when applied to Lanzarote´s most popular destination, Puerto del Carmen, even just a few years ago, but big plans are now afoot to transform the resort into a modern and stylish holiday haven as island authorities seek to ensure that the heart of island tourism keeps on ticking over.
Once a fishing village called La Tinosa, Puerto del Carmen has been transformed by package tourism over the last thirty years, exploding from its original hub around the Old Town harbour area to become Lanzarote´s leading holiday resort.
And now Puerto del Carmen is about to undergo another transformation as a multi-million-euro scheme to radically improve the resort’s infrastructure and overall tourism offering gets underway. This has potential implications for the future value of property in and around the area – despite the current market conditions – and can really be seen as a long-term boost for Lanzarote’s property market.
Puerto del Carmen has been the traditional powerhouse of the Lanzarote property market as well as the island’s tourism industry for the last three decades. Proof of this fact, if it were needed, can be seen in the proliferation of British and Irish owned estate agencies in the resort for example, and then if you look a little closer you will quickly realise that there is also a strong expatriate community living full time in Spanish property in Lanzarote.
Buyers and overseas property investors have been attracted to the Canary Islands, and Lanzarote in particular, by the pleasant year round climate that this Spanish island enjoys. Investors also enjoy the fact that there is a steady stream of demand and income generated by the resort’s buoyant tourism industry which is also largely built upon the excellent year round climate; the strength of the tourism industry has created reliable rental returns for the owners of apartments and holiday villas in Puerto del Carmen.
But the resort has also, to some extent, become the victim of its own success. Facilities and infrastructure have been looking frayed around the edges for some years, whilst the main Avenida de las Playas – the main shop window of Puerto del Carmen – has become a kaleidoscope of neon lit bars and restaurants, creating a rather outdated and downmarket image. In order to combat these problems and improve the town, local tourist authorities have resolved to reinvent the resort. For property investors looking for a market opportunity, now could be an excellent time to consider Lanzarote property as it is falling in price along with all property in Spain, yet over the longer-term as the improvements to the resort come online, this will likely have a great effect on the value of property in the resort.
One of the main strands to the improvement strategy is a project to transform the Old Town harbour area which is currently home to just a few fishing boats and excursion vessels. This will become a luxury marina with moorings for upmarket yachts and cruisers. This is a move designed to not only attract a more affluent type of tourist – but also a deliberate attempt to emulate the success of the marina at Puerto Calero which lies just a few miles south down the coastline and where property prices now command a serious premium!
The rejuvenation of the resort also encompasses a project, already underway, to increase the amount of space for pedestrians along Puerto del Carmen’s main seafront promenade where until recently, two lanes of traffic held the upper hand. A scheme to harmonise shop fronts and fascias – in order to create a more pleasing overall aesthetic – is also part of the overall improvement project.
In tandem with other initiatives, such as the opening of a new golf course just on the edge of town, these improvement projects appear likely to have a positive effect on the price of property in Puerto del Carmen in the medium to longer term despite the current turbulence in world property markets. Therefore if you’re looking for the next big thing – why not consider taking a closer look at Lanzarote property.