How would you sum up 2015 in Barcelona?
2015 has been a significant year of recovery for the Barcelona property market, mainly due to the re-activation of the local market as well as greater demand from overseas buyers. Prices leveled out during 2015 and in prime areas of the city are starting to creep up again
Who are the key buyers and where?
Lucas Fox saw sales activity by local buyers increase by 50% during 2015, a definitive sign that the property market is recovering well. Local buyers tend to focus on buying in the residential areas of Eixample and the Zona Alta (Galvany & Turo Park for exxample). Foreign buyers are still dominating the luxury end of the market with the British leading the way. The Brits are benefitting from the strong pound against the Euro as well as a healthy UK economy. Most are looking for investment opportunities or second homes in prime areas of the city such as the Old Town which also offer a good (long term) rental return. We’re also seeing increased interest from the French, Dutch and Belgians.
What types of property are proving most popular and why?
New developments are by far the most popular product, thanks to the ‘no hassle’ factor. Clients have a ‘ready-to-move-into’ product, normally centrally located, offering high quality finishes and a good rental return. The demand for this kind of property is currently outstripping supply so they normally sell at asking price. Lucas Fox Barcelona has plans for several New Development projects in 2016 in sought-after areas of the city and which offer great investment potential.
Have you noticed any significant nationality trends? And why?
Aside from the re-emergence of Spanish buyers and the increase in the number of British buyers, we’ve also seen the number of buyers from the Middle East rise. Many of these non-EU nationals are looking to benefit from the so-called ‘Golden Visa’ which offers Spanish residency in return for property purchases over 500 thousand Euros.
What is the outlook for 2016?
2016 has ended on a positive note for Lucas Fox Barcelona. Prime areas are continuing to perform extremely well with particularly strong results for new developments. Perhaps even more encouraging for the Spanish property market as a whole are the signs that prices in Barcelona have stabilized and are beginning to slowly increase. In all of these locations the improving market conditions are being driven by increasing levels of confidence amongst national buyers, something that is crucial for the market’s long term recovery. With an economy performing beyond forecasters’ expectations and unemployment down, we expect to see significant movement over the next 12 months in Barcelona as both international and national investors make the most of a unique combination of factors in one of Europe’s most desirable property hotspots.