Gibraltar is one of fourteen British Overseas Territories and left the European Union with the United Kingdom on 31st January 2020. During the transition phase which is expected to last until 31st December 2022, Gibraltar is expected to be treated in the same way as member states of the EU and will be subject to the same rules and privileges. Gibraltar continues to enjoy free trade with the United Kingdom and will be included in any trade deals agreed between the United Kingdom and other nations.
Gibraltar has strong links with the UK albeit has its own constitution and own fiscal independence.
It is approx 2.5 sq miles in size and has a population of some 34,000 although this figure increases by up to 12,000 each day, as many workers commute in from Spain.
The percentage of undeveloped land is extremely small when one excludes the rocky cliffs and steep sloping upper rock. It is estimated that 70% of Gibraltar’s 34,000 population live on reclaimed land, predominantly on the west side of Gibraltar.
The currency is £ sterling, interest rates are set by the Bank of England, the law is based upon UK law and many well known UK high street brands and restaurants are here, for example: Marks and Spencer; Morrisons; Next; Mothercare; Monsoon, Costa Coffee, Pizza Express plus NatWest Bank and Kleinwort Hambros Bank.
Gibraltar’s economy continues to grow again following the Covid years mainly because the following low tax rates continue to attract new entrants:
• 12.5% corporation tax
• No VAT
• No capital gains tax
• No wealth tax
• No inheritance tax
• 28% highest incremental rate of income tax (on the gross income based system)
• Special low rates for high net worth individuals or employees possessing specialist skills
The economy (measured by the GDP – gross domestic product) has grown consistently in every year (other than the two Covid years) in the 21st century, sometimes by as much as 10%. This is relatively unique in Europe and much of the world. The number of jobs continues to grow year on year and currently exceeds 30,000.
Gibraltar's key industries are the vibrant financial services sector, a wealth of gaming businesses and more recently Gibraltar has become one of the world's leading jurisdictions in welcoming and fostering Fintech businesses, all of which are regulated by the relevant statutory bodies.
In addition to high street brands, Gibraltar is home to an ever increasing number of international companies including: KPMG; PWC; Deloittes; Grant Thornton; Labrokes, William Hill, Bet365, Betfred, Gala, Coral, BetVic plus many others.
Gibraltar has a fascinating history and is a popular tourist destination. It boasts a climate averaging 320 sunny days a year, easy access to Spain (40 golf courses within an hour’s drive of the border), is virtually free of serious crime and is home to a wide variety of religions existing harmoniously in an integrated and friendly environment.
There are so many reasons to take advantage of what Gibraltar has to offer and we believe there is no better agent than Chestertons to help you achieve this.
Airlines that fly to Gibraltar
Gibraltar has its own airport reaching the following destinations:
Gibraltar Barbary apes
One of Gibraltar’s top tourist attractions has to be the Barbary macaques. They are a species of tail-less monkeys and are the only free ranging primates in Europe. Legend has it that as long as Gibraltar Barbary macaques exist on Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule. In 1942 after the population dwindled to just a handful, British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill ordered their numbers be replenished immediately from forest fragments in both Morocco and Algeria. Today the number of Barbary macaques on the Rock of Gibraltar totals about 230 individuals living in 6 groups with group sizes ranging between 25 and 70 animals. The monkeys are managed by the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society (GONHS) and veterinarian expertise is provided by the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic (GVC).
Land tenure in Gibraltar follows UK principles. Land and property are held on a freehold or leasehold basis, with the latter taking various forms, depending on the length of the lease term and whether residential or commercial. It is not the policy of the government to grant freeholds. Those freeholds that do exist are historical and are mostly concentrated in the central town area. It is common to make available crown lands and property on long leasehold terms, usually for 99 or 150 years.
Property law is also broadly based on the UK system. There are no restrictions on foreign nationals purchasing, except in some residential developments jointly owned by individuals and government, where purchasers must qualify as eligible for government housing.
Background to the property market
There are some 15,000 residential units in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar has two residential property markets: i) government owned and / or funded (local market) and ii) privately owned and / or funded (open market).
The local market is better defined as properties built with government funding which may only be occupied by persons with a minimum of 3 year Gibraltar residency. Most properties in this category are rented by the government to individual local tenants. Some are now owned by the occupant (with the 3 year residency rule prevailing) whilst an increasing minority are owned on a shared basis (usually but not always 50/50) with the government as a means of encouraging property ownership. The local market properties account for some 50% of the entire housing stock.
Local market properties must be utilised as the main residence and may not be let out. They are therefore, unsuitable for investors.
The open property market in Gibraltar is available to any owner or occupant. Standard demand and supply principles apply. Property acquisition as an investment has a demonstrable track record in Gibraltar and we estimate that one quarter of the open market properties are rented privately by landlords for normally, but not necessarily, 12 month terms.
The open market property prices trade at significantly more (up to 100% on a like for like basis) than the local market due to the lack of restrictive usage clauses.
Chestertons only deal with open market properties hence all of the properties on our site may be purchased by non-residents.
Stamp duty and other purchase costs
The Gibraltar Stamp Duties Act 2005 (as amended by the Stamp Duties (Amendment) Act 2010) relates to all transactions involving real estate property situated in Gibraltar. The rates of duty applicable are as follows:
i.Nil % where:
a)The property value does not exceed £200,000, or
b)The property value does not exceed £250,000 in those instances where the purchaser is a first-time buyer or second-time buyer, or
c)Where the property is being transferred between spouses or, following the dissolution of a marriage, between former spouses
ii.2% on the first £250,000 and 5.5% on the balance, where the property value exceeds £200,000 but does not exceed £350,000, and
iii.3% on the first £350,000 and 3.5% on the balance where the property value exceeds £350,000
Additionally, if the property is purchased with the assistance of a mortgage, stamp duty is charged at the rate of 0.13% where the amount borrowed does not exceed £200,000 and 0.20% for amounts in excess of £200,000.
Stamp duty may be calculated using the calculator on the Chestertons website.
Compared with the UK and Spain, these stamp duty rates are attractive to purchasers.
Other purchase costs are minimal with legal fees amounting to 0.5% - 1% of the purchase cost. Other various registration disbursements amount to a few hundred pounds. A mortgage incurs stamp duty at a maximum rate of 0.2%)