There are already over 6,000 British expats living on Lanzarote. So if you are thinking of joining them here’s more insight into this unique Canary Island and the best places to buy.
Anyone who’s already visited the island of Lanzarote may have toyed with the idea of retiring here but not been sure about how easy it is or what it might be like.
As there are already over 6,000 British expat residents it is easy to integrate, as there are plenty of people, both English speaking and Canarian, who can help with all aspects of the move.
The population totals just over 150,000 with a broad range of nationalities represented and the island is characterised by an easy going and warm culture, with plenty of activities that bring people together.
Clement Year-Round Climate
As one of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote enjoys a different climate from mainland Spain; with warmer winters and cooler summers it has a more even range of temperatures and drier heat, making it far kinder to those with health conditions such as arthritis. The low annual rainfall also means that the average number of sunshine hours is among the highest in Spain.
And while the climate isn´t the only reason for choosing this beautiful island in the Atlantic as a suitable place to retire, it offers those who choose to do so the opportunity to live a more active and outdoor lifestyle than many more northerly destinations.
Wide Range Of Activities
Sports and leisure activities are extremely popular here among all age groups, with walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, golf and running all pursued by large numbers of the resident population.
For those who prefer more sedate and cerebral hobbies, the unique landscapes and unspoilt vistas inspire many to take up artistic past-times, such as painting and pottery. It´s also easy to find language classes, as some of the local councils (Tias, for example) offer subsidised Spanish lessons to the expat community.
This is a reflection of the concentration of British residents in the area of Puerto del Carmen (in the municipality of Tias), which makes it a sort after area for retirees who want to plug into the local expat community, along with the other two main holiday resorts of Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise. To get an idea of the range of property on sale in Puerto del Carmen browse the Atlantico Homes website – one of the largest estate agents on the island.
Paperwork and Health Issues
As with all retirees in Spain, as long as you have your social security history up to date in the UK and use a gestor (or paperwork expert) to register you on arrival, you will have access to the health service, just as you would at home. Increasingly, there are medical staff in the hospital and in some health centres who can communicate in basic English, although there are always also helpful expats who can lend their translating abilities if needed.
Lower Cost Of Living
The cost of living is generally far lower than in the UK, not least because heating isn´t usually a requirement in many apartments, especially those in coastal locations.
Many properties now have solar generated hot water and in some cases electricity as well, bringing monthly bills down.
Water is generated by a desalination plant and is charged by usage, but whereas in the past the company in charge was wasteful and ran at a loss, since privatisation there has been significant infrastructure investment in recent years which is helping to keep the average water bill at an affordable level. Something which will be of interest for those who fancy having their own swimming pool to splash about in when they retire.
Groceries have become more affordable since the introduction of competitive supermarket chains such as Mercadona and Lidl. While there has also been an increase in island fruit and veg production, with numerous organic fincas now offering a range of produce that previously had to be imported from the other islands and the mainland.
Lanzarote is also well connected with internet coverage, with areas such as Arrecife and Tias offering superfast broadband and even rural areas able to access speeds that facilitate streaming services.
Almost the entire island caters to residents who need connectivity for their work or for social purposes. Which opens up the locations that would-be retirees may wish to consider if they are contemplating living away from one of the main tourist areas.
And this may be a desirable alternative for those seeking tranquillity and areas of unspoilt natural beauty, of which the island has many. It´s also more likely to fulfil the brief of anyone looking to buy a more traditional style of property, as there is a greater range of these outside of the tourist areas, where apartment complexes and villas dominate the property offerings.
Good local property agents can be relied on to show a wide range of property types in the desired area or make suggestions that may not previously have been under consideration.
Part of the remit of the many professionals in the business is to be able to give prospective buyers a complete estate agency service, from finding a property, to checking the paperwork, overseeing the sale and ensuring good after sales care with any registration changes that need to be made, for utilities or with the land registry.
This ensures a smooth transition for new residents on the island and allows them to get down to the important business of beginning to enjoy their retirement.