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fv history real estate lz

History of Real Estate FV & LZ
From Diario:

Part 1 of an article by Mario Ferrer

Faced with another year of rising house prices, it is worth reviewing the deep historical oscillations that the real estate business has experienced and its well-known speculation.
It does not have the glamour of politics, the economy or society, but history of the real estate evolution of a place does not cease to have its crumb, especially when we talk about limited spaces, as is the case of the islands. In fact, the planning of the territory and its urbanization explain many of the acute cultural ups and downs that Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and its islets have experienced during its history. Specialists in the field predict that in 2022 housing prices will rise again, so we propose a review of the volapluma for more than 2,000 years of different ways of organizing the territory and its construction.
There are still many doubts to be resolved about the majos (the first inhabitants of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote), but it is known that, as in the rest of the islands, those first settlers had a clear hierarchy in their socio-political organization, which was also moved to their homes and habitats, so that in addition to the classic 'deep houses' (small semi-buried stone cabins), more developed structures have also appeared, such as the Zonzamas Palace, the centerpiece of one of the most important archaeological sites in Lanzarote and the residence of the majo king who bore that name.
The distribution of the territory in the aboriginal world was also controlled and weighted, having an outstanding archaeological example in La Pared de Jandía, a large wall of six kilometers that separated this peninsula from the rest of the Island. Formerly, it was believed that this wall divided the Island between the two chiefs of the local clans, Guise and Ayose, although today it is rather thought that it marked the limit of the pastures reserved for times of scarcity. Although there is no doubt that the ancient Canaries came from North Africa, there are many gaps to be filled about their arrival. One of the curiosities of this subject is that it is quite likely that Europe, and especially the Mediterranean peoples, exerted a decisive influence on that arrival.
Among the hypotheses most accepted by archaeologists is the one that points out that the arrival of the primitive population of the Canary Islands was linked to the appetite of ancient Rome to populate new territories. This current maintains that, as it did in other mediterranean islands, the Roman Empire could have banished Berber insurrectionary tribes (also called Amazigh) to the Canary Islands as punishment for their rebellion, although it is not ruled out that the transfer was voluntary and that more than one arrival could have occurred.
In any case, the objective of Rome was the same, to populate new territories to incorporate them into their domains, advancing a pattern that will be repeated and that will be key, the real estate desires of the peoples of Europe on the soil of the Canary Islands. Indeed, after the definitive fall of the western empire of Rome from the fifth century, the European peoples withdrew from North Africa during the almost 1,000 years of the Middle Ages, to return to interest in these territories at the end of the Middle Ages.
The stately conquest
Motivated by technical advances in navigation, some economic prosperity and the fight against Islam, Europeans returned to roam the Canary Islands from the fourteenth century, being the first serious attempt, that of the Genoese navigator Lanceloto Malocello, who settled for a few years and ended up giving name to the island of Lanzarote from approximately 1330. In the following years, different kingdoms such as Portugal, Castile, Aragon (with Catalan and Mallorcan expeditionaries) passed through the Canary Islands. Europe was once again looking towards the Archipelago. In 1391 another expedition led by two Genoese passed through Fuerteventura, on its way to Guinea.
Quote:The feudal lords made and undid at will the sale of land
The European conquest of the Canary Islands began in Lanzarote in 1402, to continue soon with Fuerteventura, but two very different modalities occurred. Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma took longer to conquer (the last was Tenerife in 1496) and required the direct intervention of the army of the Castilian king, who also financed the campaign and directly incorporated those territories and their subjects into their domains. It was the real conquest. Meanwhile, the rest of the islands, including Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and its islets, followed the model of stately conquest, which occurred on the initiative and financing of private individuals (members of the European military aristocracy), although under the recognition of the Castilian crown and, above all, of the pope. The differences between one model and another were remarkable, forcing the inhabitants of the stately islands to pay more taxes, which made a precarious economic development even more difficult, always pending the lack of water.
The manorial rights were not abolished until the nineteenth century, so that the lords of the Islands, (several dynasties owned and divided Fuerteventura and Lanzarote), made and undid at will, selling the best lands among their collaborators and squeezing the peasantry with abusive rates, so that many times the only solution was emigration.
Droughts, pirates...

In the first centuries after the European conquest, the value of the land was very marked by the laws of the limited agricultural world. The lands with the most pastures were the most appreciated and, in islands of marked dryness such as Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, those possessions were always scarce. Life revolved around the fragile water supply.

For centuries, coastal properties were of very little value, inherited by younger brothers and sisters. Not only were they worth little because of their almost zero agricultural productivity, but because they were also the most exposed to frequent pyratic attacks. In 1618, North African pirates took almost a thousand Lanzaroteans captive, accounting for about 20 percent of the local census. It was a two-way business, since the lords of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote also organized raids to Africa to get slaves or captives for which ransoms were later paid, although many ended up staying on the islands.

If the outlook for the majority of the population was already very unencouraging, between 1730 and 1736 Lanzarote experienced one of the worst volcanic episodes of the last millennia. For six years, more than 20 volcanoes buried some of the best agricultural plains and numerous villages, with their houses, corrals, wells, chairs, cisterns, maretas, hermitages ..., and even a royal port in the area of Janubio. The territorial and real estate order jumped through the air. Researcher José de León Hernández has documented cases of people who bought land just months before the first phase of the eruptions buried them and who, to top it off, bought new domains that, several years later, were also eaten by lava. Fuerteventura, especially the north of the island, was also affected by the arrival of numerous people fleeing Lanzarote.

In the nineteenth century began the decline of the Ancien Régime in Spain, a process with many twists and turns that was especially slow on islands like ours, where the insular aristocracy lost its former feudal rights. But it was not the only novelty of this turbulent century. The Church, also another great owner in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, saw how the different confiscations of the time stripped it of its abundant properties. Meanwhile, the agricultural landowning class, made up of great heirs of wealthy traditional lineages, watched as a new wealthy rival social sector emerged, thriving on trade and introducing new liberal ideas. It was a port bourgeoisie that settled in Arrecife and Puerto Cabras, mainly, and that represented a new model of power against the rural oligarchy, often absentee, that is, that resided in Gran Canaria, Tenerife or the Peninsula, managing its farms through party walls.
Although with novelties, the nineteenth century continued to maintain the unfair rules of the game. The historian Agustín Millares Cantero has documented how many large landowners took advantage of the cyclical crises caused by droughts or economic shocks to buy at low prices the domains of modest ruined agricultural owners, in a progressive process of accumulation. They were not good islands for small entrepreneurs.
Tourism Revolution

In the mid-twentieth century, in the middle of the Spanish post-civil war, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote were still anchored in a survival economy that lived off the low incomes left by the outdated primary sectors. Areas such as Jandía and La Graciosa followed dynamics more typical of the archaic Old Regime than of the capitalist world. Fishing was the little that gave joy, while the industry gave no signs of life and rulers like Franco took the opportunity to banish their enemies to these islands. Nobody wanted to come to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, let alone buy land. Zero interest.

Quote:For centuries, coastal land was the least valued, a bad inheritance.

However, at the end of the fifties of the twentieth century, a citizen of Belgian nationality, Guy van Dhal (or Vandaele, depending on the source chosen), began to buy huge useless land on the coast of Lanzarote (almost everything from Playa Honda to La Tiñosa, today Puerto del Carmen) and even more so in the north of Fuerteventura (almost everything from Cotillo to Puerto del Rosario, including the dunes of Corralejo). Those massive purchases caused amazement among the population, but we had to take advantage of the opportunity to sell. Even the so-called "notable Moors", a famous gathering group composed of distinguished members of the traditional high society of Arrecife, thought that the Belgian was clueless or did it for charity with the small owners, until a few years later they saw how he resold those lands at much higher prices.

There are in the collective memory of those who lived that time many anecdotes similar to this, which in this case was narrated in a recent book by the Portuguese economist Marrero and which serves to illustrate the radical change that Fuerteventura and Lanzarote experienced. From the dawn of Spanish developmentalism began a deep constructive and speculative fever that completely metamorphosed the insular reality, because of the new market value that the land on the coast will acquire. The brilliant arrival of tourism changed everything, to re-link the territorial organization of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote with the new European appetites, although in a way not seen until then.
In the next (and last) chapter of this brief real estate history of the easternmost islands of the Canary Islands we will tell the details of this tourist phase. A historical stage in which we are still immersed, and that has given both for the creation of great wealth and powerful crises.

Link to original article which has some great old pics
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from Diario:

Part 2

Brief real estate history of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote (part II)

In the last 60 years, economic development produced an unprecedented real estate boom, although it also left serious crises and serious urban and corruption problems.

In the first part of this quick look at the real estate history of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote we left the chronicle in the Copernican turn that was lived with the arrival of tourism from the fifties and sixties. The ancestral agricultural world languished in the face of the urgency of the new panorama, beginning a fever of buying and selling plots never seen before. The sociologist Mario Gaviria, one of the first to offer a critical vision of Spanish developmentalism, described this situation in the seventies in a very stark way in his famous book España a go-go: "Fuerteventura and Lanzarote have paracolonial and desert characteristics, with very low population density, without water, without electricity, without sufficient infrastructure, so the prices of the land were cheap (...). German promoters, hidden behind joint-stock companies and straw men, have made their appearance on all the islands."

After centuries of stillness and disinterest, the real estate market of these islands came to a boil. Urban and speculative plans reached every corner. There were not only local or Spanish investors, but also international ones. A paradigmatic example in this regard was the so-called 'Strauss Law', named after the Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany who promulgated it. This German program promoted fiscal aid for private capital to invest in developing countries and was key for the Canary Islands, especially the south of Fuerteventura, where Chancellor Willy Brandt moved.

Although this first phase was mainly speculative (the first Island Plan of Lanzarote of 1973 allowed almost half a million places), construction and its parallel industries began to emerge as a financial engine, not only by the appearance of some hotels and apartments, but also by the take-off of new homes for the local population. Easy Money began to flow in a way not seen until then and many people focused their professional lives towards this branch. But not everything was rosy, and less so in a sector of cyclical swings like this. The accelerated growth generated not a few painful and unnecessary losses in the cultural heritage of the islands and an often chaotic urbanism. In addition, there were few valuable examples of contemporary architecture, most of the new construction was work of poor quality, and on top of that, in the mid-seventies there was the first great economic stoppage of tourism, derived from the international oil crisis and the problems that Spain was experiencing.

Boom of the eighties

The negative situation did not last for many years and the tourism-construction binomial started even stronger from the 1980s, with the world travel industry more perfected. In less than two and a half decades, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura multiplied their visitors by more than 10, going from receiving less than 300,000 tourists a year in 1980, to almost four million at the beginning of the XXI century.

The real estate response to this dynamic was a cycle of apotheosic real estate rise, with the exception of a brief negative situation in the early nineties, which greatly damaged small owners, but benefited the large ones, who accumulated more assets. The construction companies did not stop growing and, next to them, real estate agencies, supply factories, transport companies, furniture stores, hardware stores, etc. Large island fortunes were cemented, while many middle classes invested in a second or third residence. Cement not only monopolized finances, the drafting of urban plans concentrated much of the action of local politics, while protests by environmental groups grew and flagrant cases of corruption began to be uncovered.

Pioneering areas such as Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise, Corralejo or the south of Fuerteventura saw their skies filled with cranes, while new areas such as Playa Blanca or Caleta de Fuste appeared. But it is that, in addition, the residential sector was accelerating, as a response to the huge number of new workers that brought the economic pull, feeding back all the machinery.

In 1981, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura had a traditional root population that did not reach 80,000 people. In contrast, in 2007 residents numbered more than 220,000, almost four times as many. Large villas were built for wealthy Europeans, as well as small houses for new workers from America, Africa, Eastern Europe or Asia.
Although a controversial tourist 'moratorium' was launched from the local government of Lanzarote and later from the regional government, at the turn of the century the passage from the peseta to the euro, the implementation of fiscal measures such as the RIC (Canary Islands Investment Reserve) or the appearance of low cost airlines further heated up the real estate effervescence. You had to invest in houses and apartments, prices went up year after year. It was a safe business and mortgages were easily granted. Until the bubble burst from 2008.
Holiday Resurrection

The so-called Great Recession had an international origin, but Spain was one of the most punished countries, while Lanzarote and Fuerteventura became ground zero.

Flats that did nothing were worth a fortune, were now sold at bargain prices without buyers appearing, while the economic fabric collapsed. The puncture of the real estate and Banking bubble left a brick-addicted economy like ours in a deep coma. They were years of sky-high unemployment, business bankruptcies and cuts. To put some figures that illustrate the hecatomb, if in 2001 more than 250,000 tons of cement were landed in Arrecife, that official statistic in 2012 did not reach 31,000 tons, not an eighth.
This stage not only revealed the fragility of the economic growth of recent decades, but also coincided with the resolution of numerous court cases that showed the crudest of what some have called 'criminal urbanism'. Many businessmen, mayors, heads of technical offices, secretaries, promoters or political positions were found guilty in extensive corruption plots. Selling and buying plots had been big business for a long time, but reclassifying land and giving building licenses fraudulently from the administration had not been far behind.

This stage was also especially hard in terms of evictions, with many families losing their homes and banks trying to get rid of thousands of properties at prices that today we would consider a bargain. Because in the crudest of the Recession there were several changes of international and technological origin that, as always, immediately affected many tourist destinations such as our islands, resulting in one of the most radical fluctuations in this sector, already prone to oscillate.

First, the countries of North Africa collapsed in tourism with the 'Arab Springs', leaving the Canary Islands without one of its most powerful competitors in the offer of sun and beach for Europe. This factor, together with others, such as the improvement in economic conditions in the countries of central and northern Europe, made the influx of tourists clearly reactivate from 2011. Although the second novelty was even more important: the progressive development of the internet began to change the rules of the market, with the appearance of a new business model exemplified by Airbnb or Booking.

Quote:Holiday tourism has been a revolution in recent years

The arrival of the so-called holiday tourism has been a revolution. On islands such as Lanzarote and Fuerteventura this new formula makes it possible to dispense with the traditional tour operator and its long adjacent chain. The investor, local or international, can buy an apartment in El Cotillo or Playa Blanca to take advantage of it from the first day, dealing directly with their customers through new technologies, almost without intermediaries in between, except the internet portal. It has not been the only change, the communication possibilities of the digital world have opened spaces of the island territory that until now were far from tourism. A German traveler can book something in a neighborhood of Puerto del Rosario to discover what life is like for the locals, or an English couple can do their surf course by staying directly in La Caleta de Famara. The entire island is open to tourist accommodation and any space is susceptible to rent, with the administrations gradually regulating this new segment.
In this situation of boom of traditional tourism and new holiday tourism we were until a pandemic has paralyzed the world economy. After the first and extremely hard impact of COVID, the real estate market has shown clear symptoms of dynamism and reactivation. Not only is tourism still profitable, but the appetite of the local or European saver who wants to buy a house in Lanzarote or Fuerteventura has also been reawakened. So, you know, buying a house is always a safe business..., or ruinous; the historical review gives for everything.

link to original article for several interesting pics
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In the beginning of the pandemic it came out a lot of houses/apartments for sale in Fuerteventura.. but while the pandemic was going on they were being sold in a flash.. Goldacre estates have said that many people bought apartments over the phone..

And now there's fewer apartments for sale, and much higher prices.. who would have thought that ? and places like caleta isn't anywhere near being recovered in terms of tourists..

Wonder if the higher prices are here to stay, or a lot of housing will be out on the market in a couple of years.. Some places are never being sold as it seems, while others go in a flash.
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I was chatting to Nic Tan { Goldacres } in the middle of the pandemic, and he was telling me they were extremely busy most sales coming via virtual tours, and that prices were on the up, I must admit to being a tad sceptical, but it appears he was correct.
Do not take life to seriously no one gets out alive anyway 
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