Whether you’re a first-time property investor, or a seasoned pro, there are certainly challenges to overcome when buying a property in Gibraltar. One of the simplest ways to avoid the pitfalls - and understand the many many benefits - is to choose a local real estate agent you can trust.
Luisandro Moreno, Gibraltarian property expert and Managing Director of Phoenix Real Estate, has built his company by building strong relationships with his local and international client base. I met him to ask him why he values lasting relationships over quick sales and learn more about Gibraltar’s unique property market.
Building trust through knowledge
When I ask him about why he invests time in building strong client relationships, Luisandro simply says, “Honest advice is essential to have that recurring client or investor buying properties with you. At Phoenix Real Estate, we want to make a relationship, not simply a sale”. This ethos, it seems, also goes through the company too, “I always say to my staff, ‘when advising a client, please advise them as if the property you’re showing them and ultimately selling is for you!’ - this makes the team more invested and interested in doing right by the client, it’s what makes my company different from others”. As another example of the Phoenix Real Estate service, Luisandro shares his approach to VIP clients, My team and I have our own VIP investors who are just waiting for the right property to come on the market - these investors have so much faith and trust in our advice, we go the extra mile for them.”
As well as choosing a real estate company you can trust, one of the factors to consider is how good their local knowledge is. Luisandro, who has been working in Gibraltar’s property market for many years, says that it is an essential part of the property business, “In-depth local knowledge is a must to be an effective and successful estate agent in Gibraltar. Gibraltar’s property market is unique and without it, you simply cannot offer good advice to new clients and investors wanting to make tier investments out here.”
Gibraltar’s many tax benefits
Gibraltar’s fiscal jurisdiction, its strong and stable economy and progressive government policies have led to it being a wholly unique location for property investors. When I ask him what makes Gibraltar’s market so attractive, he lights up. “We could start by describing the Gibraltar property market as too good to be true! There are many advantages for buying real estate in Gibraltar. Firstly becoming resident in Gibraltar, you are exempt from paying any tax on any growth in value on any property in the open market that you sell in Gibraltar. This means you start benefiting from good capital growth during the years you own the property”.
While the prospect of becoming resident in Gibraltar seems like an upheaval and may put some investors off, according to Luisandro, the pay-off is worth it, “Gibraltar is also tax exempt on wealth tax, inheritance tax and tax on sales or any value added tax. By benefiting with the status of a high-net-worth individual or gain exemption as an expatriate executive you start to take advantage of Gibraltar’s tax system”. His expertise within this field is clear, “Investors in Gibraltar’s property market can also register for ‘Category 2’ status. This status basically means that individuals must be of substantial and sound financial standing and have a high net worth. This translates to them owning a minimum of two Million pounds sterling in assets. The must either buy or rent a Category 2 property approved by the Gibraltar Finance Centre. We can obviously advise the client accordingly.”
Hot new developments and return on investment
So with all these benefits of investing in property in Gibraltar laid out, what about the actual investment opportunities? I quiz him on some of Gibraltar’s most investable-developments. “Many of our investors have been buying in the newly-completed Ocean Village developments, namely Ocean Spa Plaza and Imperial Ocean Plaza which is due in September. The rental market in these 2 developments is truly exceptional. Then we have developments like Quay 29, Quay 31 and Midtown that are in the area of the Queensway Marina and rent very well too”. Luisandro then shares his expertise on some future developments, “The new hot development still to be released is the development in Gibraltar’s old Casino area, called The Reserve. I would encourage people to get more information about this development before its released.
In the area of Devils Tower Road we also have Forbes, Clemence Suites and E1!, all three developments are based where the new entrance and exit of Gibraltar will be positioned and they are good value for money investments. We are also working on a small 9 apartment development in the upper town area which will be released very soon to the public.”
For those of you wondering what happens after you invest, he tells me about Gibraltar’s rental market. “There is a healthy buy-to-let market in Gibraltar too. Gibraltar’s the home of lots of the World’s biggest gaming and financial service companies, many of whom I have close relationships with - and their staff often rent in Gibraltar. As a guide, one bedrooms range from £1300 - £2000 per month, 2 bedrooms from £2000 - £3000 per month and 3 bedroom £3000 upwards.”
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Phoenix Real Estate
28 Engineer Ln,
Gibraltar GX11 1AA