The Gibraltar Property Insight

in Features

Spring Property Insight

Property Market Update

Property Insight turns to BMI Managing Director Louis C
Montegriffo for his analysis of
the local property market.

High value clients (Cat 2 / Hepps) and other applicants relocating to the Rock continue to represent a significant part of our business and growth in the property sector.

Over the past few years we have seen continued growth in the gaming industry, with substantial investments which suggest a long-term presence in Gibraltar. The DLT sector and the Finance Centres’ foresight in regulating the industry at technology level is already proving to be hugely successful and has the makings of developing similarly to the online gaming sector, which has, over two decades been responsible for substantial growth.

We believe that there are numerous fundamentals surrounding our economy which will underpin further consistent growth. We are therefore optimistic and side on a real prospect that prices will hold at current levels and may see further growth particularly within the upper tiers and owner occupier driven sectors.

Underpinning all the above however, will be our ability as an economy to overcome the very real uncertainties surrounding the Gibraltar aspect of the Brexit agreement and how any agreement or not will impact the property sector and the wider Gibraltar economy.

Market Update

The market has performed phenomenally since November 2020 with increase in prices to April/May 22 of up to 60/70% in certain segments and high value locations. We have seen the larger high value properties achieve some substantial increases in prices driven by huge demand and a lack of supply in this sector. In general terms we have seen an average increase in prices over an 18-month period of approx. 40-45%.This took the average price or property in Gibraltar toward the second half of 2022 to approx. £900,000.

Over the past 5 years we have commented on various segments in the market and how they may be driven by different factors. We believe that our forecasts have been accurate and our signalling of caution in segments such as the studio market has been important. This market has not necessarily enjoyed the same growth over the same period as reflected within other larger high end properties, and due to an over-supply and a lack of suitable end users, we are seeing a decline in prices with continued increase of listings both to let and for sale.

Our view in general terms is that the market in the second half of 2022 did in fact slow down in pace of sales volumes and price hikes – a sensible reaction under the circumstances. Aside from the pending agreement which is quite clearly affecting our ability to provide longer term stability and some certainly of direction within the economy, the War in Ukraine has led to most Western economies reaching a breaking point. The pace of interest rate increases not seen since the early 90’s is to a degree (locally) presenting concern and, it is only normal for there to be a degree of uncertainty and nervousness affecting our position and ability to be wholly positive about the short term.

Regardless of these worrying factors which all have a play in our future prospects, the second half of 2022 showed that sales volumes (albeit a little light), remain constant, and although there is an increased supply of properties for sale and to let, sales are being achieved with less of a frantic pace as seen previously. This is particularly the case with larger properties at the mid to high end segments.

As has been the case in so many of our previous updates, we place a great deal of importance on the impact of off-plan sales and the quality / profile of buyers; we do not tire in repeating simple logic, “owner occupiers” will always drive the sector – “let the market drive the market”.

This has been proven over the past 24 months where larger higher value properties have seen some incredible prices increases of up to 60/70%, driven by owner – occupiers and a lack of supply at this end.

Lettings – Property Rentals

We started 2022 with available numbers decreasing rapidly, to the point where numbers had fallen to an average of 5 units available to let. Demand clearly impacted yields positively with increases in rents from 2021 to Q1 of 22 of approx. 15-20% on average. As was the case with availability on sales however, we began to see an increase in availability during Q2 and Q3 of 22 which to date has seen an increase in the lettings market rise to an average of 40 units. We are not considering the volumes in availability on studios, as this would more than likely take numbers to over 90 properties to let. 

Based on this new wave of supply, rental prices are declining and yields in our view and based on sales values are down to approx. 3.8% – to 4.2%.

A sensible 4 tier market

Our thoughts on a developing 4 tier market (low, mid, high, ultra-high) as described over the past 8 years are now firmly accepted. We believe that this more than serves as a positive indicator of the potential that the market continues to enjoy. The very fact that we are attracting a new ultrahigh segment is the clearest sign of confidence from a new emerging market, which we believe is here to stay – but which is dependent on a stable Gibraltar where we are able to at the very least offer a longer term forecast of what we can offer.

It is our firm view that we have a healthy property sector, split sensibly amongst four tiers. Few Finance Centres / Financial Services jurisdictions can boast such a cross section in the market, catering an array of property segments for various profiles – this in our view, once again shows the maturity of the market.

Commercial Property in Gibraltar

With respect to current availability / stock, it is safe to say that there are options in various locations, but particularly so in older commercial developments. The offering is generally lower quality and in certain areas, compromised in terms of layout flexibility and sizes.

There is no question that an element of decanting from the older commercial properties into the newer and better designed office schemes has been the order of the day over the past 48 months. Worthy of note is the fact that letting rates/sqm have not been compromised at the higher end due to the decanting, in fact quite the opposite; applicants are prepared to pay high-end prices for high end specs. In our view this creates an opportunity for landlords with older (decanted) buildings, to upgrade and provide the market with improved offerings to market.

We take the view that new modern office options will only serve to improve the commercial offerings in the market and will generate new business steered by new expectation which once again serve to underpin the positive future for Gib Inc.

In light of the Covid pandemic and the advent of a greater volume of employees working from home, there is a case to be made in so far as less demand or a request for reduction in office space, particularly for the larger office users. We believe that this has not directly affected the high rates for Grade A offices being achieved, but there may be some circumstances where negotiations on rent reviews may now favour the tenant. 

Having said all the above, we take a great deal of confidence from the fact that the economy continues to grow under difficult circumstances, regardless of recent events we remain in a good position albeit in a transitionary period where new business and new entrants may be waiting to hear news of “the Agreement” and the impact that this will have moving forward.

New Off-plan Developments and their impact

Currently and at the time of writing, Eurocity, Marina Club, North Gorge and The Reserve are the only major off-plan developments which are under construction, with the latter two being the only one primarily steered exclusively to the owner occupier segment.

We are seeing a great many re-sales at Eurocity, particularly studios and one beds and continue to be of the view that prices within these types of properties may suffer, with available volumes on smaller units increasing by the day. E1 and Forbes, completed during the end of 2022 and whereas we have seen good movement in Forbes which comprises of a wider range of mixed units, E1 which is primarily studios and smaller one bedroom units has seen a great many of the properties come back to market on re-sale and rentals which is seeing price expectations primarily on rentals affected – with expectations on yields being compromised.

We have been fortunate, thanks to a thriving economy and new entrants across the board (commercial / retail / financial service / gaming / DLT / private clients) to find ourselves in a not uncommon situation of a serious lack in supply for larger higher value high end properties, which has led to a hike in prices that had not been seen since 2007 and then again in 2013. 

There is a need and demand for new off-plan projects and we will see the last phase of the very successful Midtown Development come to market in the 1st part of 2023; we look forward to more of this, whilst also throwing some caution in so far as the current climate surrounding us remains. The Victoria Keys reclamation and of course the Eastside project are developments that will in time materialise, but at present it would be safe to say that these are more at planning / infant stages.

In addition to this, there are of course numerous projects (up to 5 in total) filed and lined up at Devils Towers Road. It remains to be seen at what pace these may materialise, once again because of the current climate of uncertainty that we are experiencing.

Fundamentally however, when it comes to sensible planning and knowing your market and your profile buyers, we have always maintained that a mix of owner occupiers, seasoned investors and a small measure of speculators is healthy, any overdose of the latter and you run the risk of exposing the market to an oversupply trend and in turn a property bubble. We saw this very situation in 2008 and in not such a large degree in 2014 and again 2017. 

Thankfully, because of our well protected economy, Gibraltar has (in the past 25 years) weathered over supply storms and downturns better than most. In today’s climate where we are experiencing higher interest rates, an oversupply of smaller units, a UK in recession and no agreement in sight, we do expect to see and are seeing a downturn in prices and yields in over supplied segments.

Property values as indicated have grown enormously in most sectors since November 2020. We have seen this rally slow down and adjust since May 2022.

Our take for the future very much depends on the impact that higher interest rates have on the local economy and, as mentioned already, the pending agreement with Spain.  New business for Gibraltar is present, but we feel that the pace seen over the past few years has settled as uncertainties are very much in play – stability and a clear sense of what we are able to offer in the longer term is crucial; at this stage it is difficult to present a clear picture.

We believe that the private client space will continue to feature highly as we see high value clients looking for jurisdictions that can afford them a safe, proactive, low tax and regulated environment. Historically, where the world has been in crisis, jurisdictions like Gibraltar do well and invariably attract high value clients looking for stability in safe well-regulated locations.

We believe that we have the potential to draw on this and continue with the journey that we have witnessed so far.

Louis C. Montegriffo Managing Director  BMI Group.

A Cosmopolitan Oasis

Renowned for its Barbary Macaques, paradisiacal summers and prime location as an overseas British peninsula bordering with Spain, and a stone’s throw away from Morrocco, Gibraltar properties are highly sought after. Property for sale and rent in Gibraltar is in high demand, and continues to grow and expand its horizons. Revered for its breath-taking views, affluent infrastructure and strategic location, Gibraltar is the epitome of summer splendour and a worthwhile investment all year round.

Why Gibraltar? 

Gibraltar’s location is truly unparalleled when it comes to property investment and daily life. Renowned for its security and tightly knit community, Gibraltar is not only a beautiful holiday destination boasting colourful sunsets, healthy Mediterranean cuisine and a high quality of life, but is a mecca of cultural diversity, peace and integration. 

This holiday haven is ideally situated close to Spain, Portugal and Africa, and offers frequent daily flights to the United Kingdom. Additionally, Malaga and Jerez airports in the south of Spain are a one hour drive away, and provide flights to many international locations.

Not only is Gibraltar rich in history and culture, offering various tourist attractions such as the Great Siege Tunnels, St Michael’s Cave, the Moorish Castle, and popular for its Maritime industry, but it also frontiers with Andalucia which is peppered with must-see hidden gems such as the cities of Seville, Granada and Cordoba.

Being a short drive to the cosmopolitan fortress that is Gibraltar, one can appreciate the illustrious landscape showcasing the blue mountains of Africa along the horizon. With many places of interest being easily accessible, Gibraltar makes for the ideal location to invest in a property and a place to call home.

Property as Investment 

Investing in a property in Gibraltar is certainly a profitable move. With the increase in market value, high net worth individuals chose sunny Gibraltar to invest their assets in the property market.

Aside from its attractive location, Gibraltar is a well-regulated and booming finance centre which offers a competitive low tax regime, and an appealing one for those wishing to obtain Category 2 status. Gibraltar’s unique status, location, exclusivity, affluence and quintessential charm serve as both the perfect holiday haven, home to settle down, and investment opportunity. 

That magical moment when you first step into the property that will become your future home is an unparalleled feeling. In Gibraltar, there are a variety of different property types. From studios and one-bedroom flats for investment purposes, to larger affordable housing developments, to stand-alone homes in areas such as the upper rock and Queensway Quay Marina, nestled away from the nearby bustling town centre. 

Surrounded by both the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean, this exotic oasis showcases a jaw-dropping coastline from many properties around the rock. Properties located slightly outside of the town centre offer sea views and multiple amenities including residential pools, gyms and private parking spaces. Additionally, with frequent buses connecting the different areas of the peninsula, travel is made simple and efficient. This picturesque location, globally renowned for its long lazy summers and mild winters, is perfectly situated against the peaceful natural surroundings of the rock, and make for an ideal investment opportunity. 

Affordable Housing 

With the affordable housing scheme in Gibraltar, many first home buyers opt to purchase an affordable home. With Hassan Centenary Terraces, Bob Peliza Mews, and Chatham Views Estates being the most recent new developments, this provides a fantastic long-term investment option for first-time buyers. 

Hassan Centenary Terraces boasts a stunning ocean view, and is conveniently located next to Eastern Beach, while Bob Peliza Mews and Chatham Views Estates are centrally located, providing easy access to the town centre and local amenities. 

Additionally, following a high standard British school curriculum, Gibraltar’s schools are conveniently located in various catchment areas of Gibraltar, and foster a safe and close sense of community. Indeed, the affordable homes are an attractive option for families and individuals looking to reside in Gibraltar on a long-term basis.

The Legal Process 

When it comes to the legal process, once you have chosen the property you wish to purchase, your estate agents will require you to pay a deposit equal to two percent of the agreed purchase price and a reservation agreement entered into by the parties. Our law firm is on the panel of most lending institutions in Gibraltar, so once a mortgage is secured, the lending institution will contact us with instructions to secure their interest and provide them with the pertinent required documentation. 

We will then carry out property searches at the Land Registry in order to establish that the vendor has proper title to sell, and make preliminary enquiries with a view to unveil any possible irregularities prior to entering into a binding contract. Once good title is established, the legal documentation will be drafted and circulated for approval by all parties in readiness for completion where a date will be agreed and funding can be made in good time.

After the completion phase, we will pay stamp duty (where applicable) and register the documents pursuant to the laws of Gibraltar. The stamp duty payable will depend on the value of the property and the amount of the mortgage, and a registration fee will be paid to the Land Registry.

Our Firm 

Our Firm acts for a number of estate agents and developers, as well as for landlords, management companies, tenants, vendors and prospective purchasers, thereby providing clients with a wealth of experience in the area of property law. 

Our Partners and Associates have also acted for banks, building societies, financiers and developers in several of the large residential or commercial developments in Gibraltar. The firm is well placed to represent a variety of clients in relation to new developments in Gibraltar, and is active in advising property developers, financial institutions and property purchasers. Our legal team is always available for a consultation to advise our clients on legal matters, and offer the utmost support in your new and exciting Gibraltar property venture!

Contact Information:

Attias & Levy

First Floor Suites, 39 Irish Town, Gibraltar


Words by Tamara Levy Attias & Levy

A day in the life of a Chartered Surveyor

My name is Paul Gibson MRICS a Chartered surveyor for almost 40 years being one of two surveyors within Gibson Gale Chartered Surveyors working alongside Nicholas Gale MRICS. We have offices in City Mill Lane which we share with NP Estates an associated company. 

I was asked to write an article for the Insight Magazine on some aspect of our work and I thought it would be interesting for the reader to get an insight into my typical working day which in this case was Monday the 20th February 2023.


The alarm sounds and out of bed into the shower followed by breakfast then a walk with the dogs and off to work. I travel by push bike into work and around Gibraltar which as a keen cyclist works well keeping my fitness levels up, is environmentally friendly and gives me no parking headaches as my folding bike goes with me into the office. 

8.45 am 

Arrived at the office, Justin from the Agency has arrived already and is busy on his lap top, the air conditioning is on heating the office otherwise all nice and quiet. I set up my laptop, make tea, check diary and finish off a bank valuation from the day before. For some more difficult valuations I will often sleep on it before issue in order to look at it with a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ in the morning. Valuation is not a precise science; it relies on the judgement of the valuer taking into account several factors of which market sales evidence is usually the backbone. We collate such data from our own records but in times such as these where we have seen such a large uplift in values over a relatively short space of time also need to contact property agents to obtain up to date, a process which is quite time consuming. Unfortunately, unlike in the UK we do not have a free open residential land register to fall back on.  


On the bike for the first appointment up at Europa Walks a former MOD housing estate near Europa Point which was released for sale a few years ago by tender and where we have seen resales showing very large uplifts in value. After a cycle up Europa Road, I arrive at the estate and spend a few minutes in the maze of alleyways trying to find the house. I am greeted by the owner whose first words are ‘hope you don’t mind dogs’ just ignore him. A large Labrador comes into view who immediately busies himself smelling my shoes and trousers and then follows me as I go around the house measuring and taking pictures. I normally have no trouble with dogs, the only time was with a large great Dane in a villa in Spain whose owner said he is very friendly which he was initially, but he proceeded to sneak up and playfully nip me from behind which the owner but not myself found highly amusing. The subject house had been improved internally but had no views, price agreed was high but was in line with other recent sales.

10 am 

Back in the office, the volume of sound has risen since departure all of the NP staff are in place and my business partners parents have also arrive with Churros and coffee. Spend 10 minutes chatting then off to my desk which is on the mezzanine level above the main office.  No rest from the noise but I mentally turn off from it and immerse myself in e mails and messages before downloading photographs and working on the report. This one was quite straightforward and have soon completed the draft which I have sent to Nick for comment.

12 noon

Off to inspect a shop for a rent review where we are acting for the tenant.  I have the usual problem of getting to the property without being spotted, 20 meters from the office and still on City Mill Lane and my name is called, it is an agent wanting my opinion on the value of a property. This takes a good five minutes after which I am stopped twice more on Main Street by friends, after 15 minutes arrive at the property. Main Street is a great meeting place but an area to be avoided if you are in a rush. Spend some time with the client discussing the case, requested a copy of the lease and obtaining details of the passing rent. I measure the property and take photographs. On my return journey I pick up a sandwich to consume in the office.

1 pm 

I check the official business register which accessed on line  to obtain details of the subject shop and any recent comparable reviews or lettings in the area. The business register is useful, but it is not up to date or comprehensive, the registrar takes time to enter the information and the supply is reliant on property owners and tenants also supplying the information. The register is still very useful as it provide data such as floor areas, parties to the agreements and historical information. As valuers we also keep comprehensive records of sales and lettings on Main Street which we have obtained from past valuations and discussions with agents, landlords and tenants. The lease arrives by e mail and I carefully read and the clauses relevant to review are noted, measurements taken earlier are processed after which I commence writing the report. A report is often worked on for a few days as data is received and compiled.  In this case I Spend over an hour on the initial process before being distracted by other pressing matters such as dealing with phone calls, e mails and issuing the valuation with invoice for the Europa Walks property which has been returned by my colleague.

2.30 pm  

I sought access for apartments which need  snagging in Eurocity of which we have several instructions only to be informed that they are still not ready. I think the developer wants the lifts functioning prior to allowing acces which after walking up the 19th floor for the valuations a few weeks ago I would also prefer. As a practice we undertake pre completion defect reports (snag reports) and also the more comprehensive pre purchase property surveys on house and apartments. 

3 pm 

Check over one of Nicks bank valuations and issue along with our invoice. 

3.30 pm 

on the bike again for a meeting with NP Estates sales team at a property in the South district, I have been asked to provide advice for marketing an unusual property.  I do not often get directly involved with NP Estates matters but occasionally advice is required or in certain cases I take over some functions such as where we needed to coordinate the renewal of the air conditioning system within a large office building in town. I measure the house in the south district and then hope to get away but as always with agency work the relationship with the client is differs and we have along chat over coffee. Not back in the office until 4.45pm and we agree to speak about the values in the conference room the following day.

For the last 30 minutes I return a number of phone calls, set up a survey and valuation for the next day, update our accounting system in respect of the invoices issued and confirm receipt of two further bank valuation instructions.


Turn off computer and leave the office on my bicycle. On arrival in the house, I am greeted by my wife and the dogs who are eager for their evening walk.

For valuations, survey’s, rent reviews, pre completion condition reports please contact us on:

Tel: + 350 200 48532: 


31 -33 City Mill Lane,
P.O. Box 1418

Consumer Awareness: Rental Deposits

As part of its awareness program, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is issuing this guidance to consumers who have paid a rental deposit in connection with their rental of a property. This will assist consumers to understand how a landlord or letting agent should handletheir rental deposits.

Deposit Payment

When entering into a new rental arrangement a consumer will commonly be asked to pay a deposit. The following principles should be observed:

• Before a deposit is paid:

the consumer must understand what the deposit is for;

all terms and conditions surrounding the circumstances under which the deposit is to be held, refunded, kept, or used towards the rental or tenancy agreement or other must be clear;

all terms and conditions must be in writing and agreed by all parties; and 

a copy of the agreement must be provided to those parties

Depositspaid to a letting agent for safekeeping should not berenamed or disguised as an introducer’s fee, commission or other brokerage fee.

Unless expressed otherwise in writing,deposits made by consumers that are held by aletting agentare to be held in a client account for the duration of the rental agreement.

Where a consumer who has paid a deposit for a rental agreement prior to signing the contract decides not to proceed with the rental, the deposit should be returned to the consumer in full unless it was expressly agreed that all or part of thedeposit would be retainedunder such circumstances. 

Should the contract between the letting agent and landlord terminate, any change of arrangements shall be communicated to the tenant as soon as possible, but in any event prior to the contract exterminating,and the communication shall set out whereand by who it is proposed that the rental deposit will be held.

End of Tenancy – Tenants’ rights

As set out in the OFT’s Code of Conduct for Real Estate Agents: 

Towards the end of a tenancy, the letting agent should inform tenants of the steps they are to take to prepare the property for the final checkout, handover of keys and any other related matters. 

Tenants should be actively informed of any specific clauses within the tenancy agreement relating to deductions from the rental deposit and to specified standards of cleaning etc.

Any necessary deductions from a rental deposit at the end of a tenancy agreement, must be reasonable and clear so it is simple to understand what portion of the deposit is allocated to the landlord for damages, replacement of items, cleaning etc.  Wherever possible this should be supported with detailed quotations and / or receipts.

Any part of therental deposit that is not in disputeshould be returned to the tenant and repaid within 10 working days from theconclusion of the tenancy.

Practical Tips and Recommendations for Tenants

The recommendations will reduce the possibility of issues recovering your rental deposit in the future.

At the start of a tenancy take the time to carefully check the condition of properties and its contents and report every defect identified in writing to the letting agent. 

Take photos of everything when you move in so you have proof of what condition the accommodation was in at the start of the tenancy agreement. 

Do a thorough inventory check when you move in and before you move out.

• Keep to the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Always communicate with the landlord and / or the lettingagent in writing.

Get written permission before you make any changes to the property.

Tell your landlord straight away if repairs are required.

Always pay your rent and associated bills on time.

• Get acquainted with your rights and obligations under the rental agreement. 

As a general rule the OFT does not recommend that you stop paying your rent as an offset to disputes arising with your landlord and/or letting agent.  If you think you may have cause for doing so,we recommend that you seek legal advice before taking this course of action.

Sample letter

If you have a dispute with a landlord and / or letting agent regarding the return of a rental deposit you can use thissample letterto write to them to demand that the rental deposit is returned.

Note that you should only write to the landlord and / or letting agent where they are withholding the rental deposit unjustly. There are occasions where they may have a right to retain the deposit, e.g. where you have caused damage to a property or its contents. 

Code of Conduct for Real Estate Agents

You canaccess the OFT’s Code of Conduct for Real Estate Agentson our website:

Contact us

We hope the above is of assistance. If you have any queries orhave encountered any problems, please contact the OFT’s Consumer Protection Team:


Tel: 20071700


Facebooks: OFT Gibraltar / Instagram & Twitter:  @OFTgib

The above information provided is for guidance purposes only and shouldnot therefore be relied upon as legal advice.

Expert Immunity Support

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