The Barcelona real estate market is now decidedly in recovery mode since the end of the financial crisis in 2013. “The strong interest from national clients and the increasing number of international buyers is seeing prices soar by as much as 12 percent in Barcelona’s best locations,” said Joan-Galo Macià, Managing Director of the Engel & Völkers Market Center Barcelona. In the “Barcelona Market Report 2016”, Engel & Völkers describes developments on the residential property market at highly sought-after locations in the Spanish city.
Eixample: central apartments popular with foreign buyers
Some of Barcelona’s most famous sights are found in the Eixample district, including Antoni Gaudí landmarks such as the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló and Casa Milà. Couples based abroad with high incomes are amongst those looking to buy apartments in central locations here for private use or rental. The main buyer groups are from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Argentina and Switzerland. 4,350 euros is the average price per square metre at present for properties in Eixample. In prime locations such as the Paseo de Gracia, prices per square metre can reach up to 11,000 euros.
Zona Alta: highly sought-after amongst wealthy families
The most exclusive and serene neighbourhoods in the city are located in the Zona Alta. This region encompasses the districts of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Pedralbes, Bonanova, Tres Torres and part of Le Corts. Palatial buildings of the 19th century give the Zona Alta its unique charm. Affluent families are drawn by the wide range of large-scale apartments and houses located very close to the sprawling parks and gardens. Apartments in new developments are sold from 9,000 euros per square metre.
Ciutat Vella: top properties include penthouses close to the sea
The district of Ciutat Vella borders onto Eixample. The Cathedral of Barcelona and the Picasso Museum are both located here. Additionally a large number of smaller, renovated apartments in historic palatial buildings and penthouses close to the sea can be found in this district. Average prices for high-end apartments here can reach approx. 6,100 euros per square metre. The weakening of the Euro saw a considerable rise in buyers from Switzerland and North America in Ciutat Vella in 2015.
Gràcia: home to a diverse range of residents and real estate
The district of Gràcia is home to intellectuals, artists and students. The district is best known with tourists for being the gateway to the world-famous Parc Güell. 70 percent of prospective buyers in Gràcia are families already living in the immediate vicinity. The remaining 30 percent are French, Italian, North-American, South-American and Scandinavian buyers who acquire real estate here for rental or as a second home. The district is notable for its variety of real estate. Prices also vary accordingly. Smaller apartments in Vall d’Hebron begin at 1,500 euros per square metre. At the other end of the spectrum, houses in Vila de Gràcia can sell for up to 5,000 euros per square metre.
International demand prompts rental boom
Engel & Völkers is currently registering particularly high interest in Barcelona’s rental segment. Revenues from rental properties have doubled over the past year compared to 2014. This is due to the number of international clients seeking properties for rent, which has increased six-fold in this period. The majority of this rental clientele is from France, England and Italy. Rental properties in the districts of Eixample and Ciudad Condal are highly sought-after.
Outlook: demand from national and international buyers set to keep rising
As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is located in one of the strongest economic regions in Spain. Tourism is a key economic factor here. There has been a significant rise in the number of overnight guests over the past twelve months. Barcelona has a high quality of life to offer, thanks to its coastal location with miles of sandy beaches and its very good infrastructure with a well-established transport network. This makes the city desirable both as a location for first and second homes. “National and international clients will remain the driving force behind Barcelona’s residential property market for the rest of 2016,” Joan-Galo Macià added. According to the high demand, Engel & Völkers is expecting residential property prices to continue to rise.