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Engel & Völkers' commitment to Castilla-Leon

Real estate investment is deeply heterogeneous because wherever there is a good buying opportunity there will be investors interested in taking advantage of that possibility. Therefore, at Engel & Völkers we are expanding our scope of work towards areas that ooze investment potential in this market. We are mainly focusing on the north of Spain, namely Castilla-León as our preferred choice. This is because the area is emerging in terms of exceptional economic conditions, location, and living standards. It is a region of marked transcendence in Spanish history and home to heritage treasures and real estate opportunities that are worth exploring in detail.

A vast and extensive land

We will first talk about the most extensive autonomous community in the entire country. Castilla-León is an area with ​​more than 94,000 km2 that correspond to 18.6 per cent of the whole national territory. The succession of lands is characterised by a vast variety of landscapes, climates, rich soils and other geographical constraints. Thus, in Castilla-León we can find the flatest areas compared to Duero valley or Salamanca to the more mountainous areas of León or Burgos. This diversity of spaces opens the door to a multitude of tourist experiences related to the natural environment, such as the Sierra de Urbión or the Arribes del Duero Natural Park.

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A strong economy

Contrary to what one might think about the abundance of rural landscapes and the low population density of provinces such as Soria or Palencia, Castilla-León is an autonomy with a very solvent economy. The diversification of productive activity in the region has allowed it to feel the impact of the last crisis to a lesser extent. Moreover, it is one of the communities with the best data in the whole of Spain, with an unemployment rate four points lower than the national average (14.8 per cent). It is also notable for its positive trade balance and relatively low public debt.

Another parameter that should be taken into account is the income per capita being almost 22,000 euros (in the lead from other towns such as the Valencian Community, Galicia or Andalusia). In terms of absolute GDP, it is the seventh richest autonomy (54,077 million euros). The incentive for investors is that Castile-Leon does not stand out for its high taxes, but rather the opposite. Its different IRPF tranches are among the lowest in the country and in 2016, its inheritance tax was reduced, thus lowering the tax bill that investors and buyers are generally faced with. Finally, it should be noted that the social services in this community place it as the third with the highest quality of life.

A promising real estate market

Castilla-León is a region of contrasts, with important differences between rural and urban areas. In this area, housing prices started to rise after the great recession but the real estate market still remains very competitive compared to other Spanish cities. For example, the average house price in the autonomous capital and most populated city, Valladolid, barely reaches 1,086 euros per square metre. The most expensive provincial capital, within a general context of low prices, is Burgos (1,235 € / sqm), followed by Palencia (1,182 € / sqm) and Salamanca (1,108 € / sqm).

A "Historical and Cultural Community"

The largest Spanish autonomous community is not understandable without its fascinating history and the immense heritage that it has left in its cities. Leon and Burgos, for example, are home to two of the most important Gothic cathedrals in Spain, while the Old Cathedral of Salamanca is one of the jewels par excellence from the northern Romanesque Castilian. Valladolid, meanwhile, adds a long series of historic buildings to our property catalogue, such as the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) and the old university. Apart from these historic treasures, it is worth mentioning the other truly monumental cities such as Tordesillas, Ciudad Rodrigo and Astorga. A must-see when it comes to historical patrimony in not just Castilla-Leon but in all of Spain, is the Sima de los Huesos site, in Atapuerca mountain range (Burgos).

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