Proposal to stop non-residents buying properties in the Canary Islands to rent out

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 06-01-2024
  • Business
  • Photo Credit: Ayuntamiento de La Oliva
Proposal to stop non-residents buying properties in the Canary Islands to rent out

In a bid to address the challenges posed by rapid demographic growth and to tackle issues related to housing problems in the Archipelago, the New Canaries has made a proposal to restrict the sale of properties to foreigners for speculation, including holiday rentals.

The president of the NC political party, Román Rodríguez, has put forward this idea to selectively contain demographic growth based on the realities of each of the islands. The proposal aims to grapple with the persisting population growth rates of the past twenty-five years and the annual influx of millions of tourists.

Rodríguez argues for the need to implement "rigorous" and "selective and differentiated" containment measures that align with the territorial realities of the islands. He emphasizes the importance of organised urban and tourist planning, taking into account that the Canary Islands have the Outermost Regions (RUP) status of the EU, which allows for the adoption of specific policies to address the challenges faced due to their distance, size, and fragmentation.

One of the proposed actions involves restricting property sales to foreigners, particularly those intending to use them for financial gain, particularly for holiday lets. Rodríguez asserts that there are legal mechanisms within the EU to formulate a solution that would simultaneously "contribute to limiting real estate speculation and problems with housing access."

He expressed his disappointment that the "conservative" parties governing the Canary Islands seem disinterested in containing demographic growth, which, he argues, necessitates intensive consumption of territory, infrastructure development, and the deterioration of public services to favour a sustainable model.

However, he applauds the unanimity of the Parliament in approving the General Planning Guidelines and sector-specific tourism guidelines contrasting them with land-use laws. "There is the roadmap," he said, highlighting the role of planning as an instrument for containing a synchronised development model, which he says is needed in the main tourist areas of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote.