Lucas Fox International Properties has announced an increase of 47% in the value of its sales transactions across all its regions during the first 4 months of 2016 compared to the same period last year.
By the end of April 2016 the company sold in excess of 150 million Euros of Spanish property since the start of the year, with a significant proportion generated in Barcelona.
The value of sales was up by 37% in the Catalan capital compared to the same period in 2015 and there were also significant increases for Lucas Fox’s Costa Brava (155%), Maresme (75%) and Ibiza (67%) offices.
We’re already seeing much more movement in the market during the first half of 2016, thanks to growing confidence among both local and overseas buyers, despite the political uncertainty in Spain. The product available this year also appeals to a broader spectrum of buyers – New Developments such as JA48 in Madrid and Marlet 1 and Casa Burés in Barcelona are attracting buyers not just looking for a principal or secondary residence but also private investors and those buying for lifestyle purposes. We are hoping that by the end of 2016 Lucas Fox will have sold more than 375 million Euros worth of property throughout Spain, up by 50% on last year’s figure.
– Alexander Vaughan, Lucas Fox Co-founder
The rise of the ‘lifestyle investor’
Following trends from previous years, Lucas Fox has been registering growing interest from so-called ‘lifestyle investors’, overseas buyers who see capital growth, rental yield as well as lifestyle benefits in purchasing a property.
Barcelona has become a major hub for this growing breed of demographic. They are not just focused on the potential appreciation of a property purchase but also all the extra lifestyle benefits that it can bring, especially when located in a prime area. As far as Barcelona is concerned that means having a superb standard of living thanks to its proximity to both beach and mountains, award-winning gastronomy and viniculture, excellent transport links, great nightlife and also being part of a city which encourages creativity, innovation and increasingly, entrepreneurialism.
– Tom Maidment, Lucas Fox Partner
One such buyer is American Amy Lerner, 46, a former Wall Street trader who recently bought through Lucas Fox in Barcelona’s Eixample district (image above).
We always had a vague idea that we’d spend some of our early retirement time in New York City but after visiting Barcelona, that plan changed” she comments “We love the dynamic, international flavour of the city and that even though it is so global, Barcelona still retains a very strong culture and outlook. Of course, the proximity to the sea, the mountains and a great airport help a lot (not to mention the food and wine!).
Recent data from the Property Registrars shows that foreign demand for Spanish property was up 16% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year. Overseas buyers accounted for just under 12,856 of all property purchases out of a total of 99,424 sales from January to March this year.
Lucas Fox data for the first four months of 2016 suggests that Northern Europeans continue to dominate the prime property market, accounting for 80% of all of the company’s sales. The British accounted for 12.5% sales, the Spanish 16% whilst property purchases by Middle East buyers continue to increase.