According to the company’s quarterly Market Reports, the increase in the volume of sales has been particularly noticeable in key cities, with the number of Lucas Fox’s sales transactions increasing by 58% in Barcelona and 50% in Valencia.
The total value of Lucas Fox’s sales transactions also rose significantly in this first quarter – by 54% across all regions and by 62% in Barcelona, by 109% in Madrid and by 112% in Valencia.
According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the number of property sales transactions across the whole of Spain during the first two months of 2017 went up by 10% compared to the same period in 2016, with the greatest increases being seen in Barcelona (23%), Girona (21%), the Balearics (17%), Málaga (12%) and Madrid (11%). Most indices are also reporting property price increases of up to 4.5% across Spain.
Meanwhile, the Euribor reached its lowest ever monthly level in March, falling to -.11%, surprising many analysts who had believed it could not fall further.
“Our market analysis shows that home sales across the cities and most desirable second-home destinations maintained a steady upward trend in the first quarter of 2017. We expect that the recovery will extend to the surrounding areas of the cities and other parts of Spain during the next 12 to 18 months. With easier financing and continued low interest rates, we predict that the demand for homes will continue to rise.”
Rod Jamieson, Lucas Fox Head of Operations
In Barcelona where Lucas Fox carries out the majority of its operations, the number of sales to Spanish buyers in the first quarter of 2017 almost doubled compared to the same period last year, representing 29% of all Lucas Fox Barcelona buyers in Q1 2017. Meanwhile, whereas Brexit has had some impact on the market in resort areas. Lucas Fox data shows that this is not the case in the cities. During the first quarter of 2017, there was a significant increase in the number of sales to British buyers in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia despite the weakened Pound. Other notable trends include the increase in sales to Turkish buyers, many of whom are taking advantage of the Golden Visa scheme, making up 12% of all Lucas Fox Barcelona sales in the first quarter of this year.
“The Turks see Spain as a safe haven for investment given the current political turmoil in Turkey. Meanwhile, following Brexit, a number of international clients who previously invested in the UK are investing in Spanish city homes in order to diversify their funds. With overall growth predicted in the sector, they are taking advantage of the current low property prices and the prospect of healthy capital gains. Foreigners buying homes in Spain are still in line for good returns, at least in the short to medium term”.
Karen Storms, Lucas Fox Head of International Sales
British entrepreneur James Watts is living testimony of this new trend in British buyers. He is relocating his two businesses from the UK to Barcelona due to the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU. He also says he wants to profit from the growing pool of affordable creative talent in the Catalan capital.
“For me, to start a business I need stability, the single market and world-class talent. The implications of Brexit mean that the UK is no longer a competitive option for any of these three fundamentals. The idea to move to Barcelona had always been there. Brexit just made it a reality”.