Lucas Fox has released its market reports for the first half of 2016. These in-depth in-house dossiers include detailed information about the property landscape in the company’s 8 key regions – Barcelona, Maresme, Sitges, Madrid, Valencia, the Costa Brava, Marbella – Costa del Sol, and Ibiza.
The first half of 2016 has seen Lucas Fox’s business continue to grow and expand, with both the number and value of transactions up across all its regions compared to the same period during 2015. Overall the Spanish property market continues to show steady signs of recovery with almost 37,000 residential properties exchanging hands in June 2016, a three-year high. There is a high level of interest in New Development properties, with Lucas Fox sales of new homes increasing by 55% in the first six months of 2016.
Regional highlights from the Market Reports are:
- Barcelona city continues to see a monthly increase in sales of residential homes, with transaction volume growing 40% in the 12 months prior to June 2016.
- Property prices for all of Barcelona averaged €3,533 per square metre by the end of June 2016, up €141 over the average at the end of 2015, an increase of 4.16%.
- The first half of 2016 has seen increasing numbers of buyers from the Middle East and China. Around a quarter of Lucas Fox sales in Barcelona city were to national buyers.
- The main motivation for buying among foreign buyers is for a second residence/holiday home but there are also increasing numbers who are buying to obtain the ‘Golden Visa’.
- Whilst Spanish interest in Maresme properties represents just over half of Lucas Fox website visitors, amongst international buyers the majority of interest comes from Western Europe and the United States.
- The majority of buyers in Maresme are looking at houses up to €700, 000 and the market is still dominated by resales as, despite the high demand, there is very little new construction in the area.
- The majority of Lucas Fox prime market property buyers on the Maresme Coast have been purchasing properties for their private use, either as a primary residence or secondary residence.
- Sitges average property prices have risen nearly 6% year-on-year, at €3,702 per square metre, up from €3,499 per square metre in June 2015.
- Sitges continues to attract significant international interest, with Lucas Fox seeing an even split between EU and non-EU buyers during the first half of 2016.
- 3 out of every 4 buyers so far this year are planning to use properties as their primary residence, compared with just 1 in 4 in 2015.
- Madrid centre has seen prices increase for seven consecutive quarters. By the end of June 2016 Madrid centre reached an average price of €3,638 per square metre, an annual growth rate of 6.25%.
- International interest for Madrid property comes from the United States, Western Europe and the United Arab Emirates.
- New Development and renovated properties in the mid-market price range in central locations are the most sought-after homes among both national and international investors.
- Madrid ranked fourth in a 2016 league of European cities compiled by consultants PWC, based on a survey of investors’ and developers’ views on which property markets offer the best prospects.
- Valencia average property prices have been increasing for almost every quarter since the end of 2014, with average prices in the Old Town reaching €2,349 per square metre by the end of June 2016, an annual growth rate of 7.8%.
- Valencia is predominantly a national market, with 66% of Lucas Fox website visitors coming from Spain. 2016 has so far seen an increase in US buyers.
- 2016 has been a strong year so far for passengers arriving at Valencia airport, with over 2.5 million passengers arriving by the end of June 2016, representing a 13.1% rise over the same period last year.
- 2016 has seen an increase in sales volume in the province of Girona (which includes the Costa Brava), with a total of 4,091 sales transactions in the first six months, up from 3,627 in the same period of 2015, an increase of nearly 13%.
- The majority of Lucas Fox buyers have purchased holiday homes in the Costa Brava, although there are increasing numbers buying property as a primary residence. Data for the first half of 2016 also shows an increase in the number of buyers from the United States.
- The second half of 2016 is expected to show greater activity compared to the first two quarters of 2016, but a drop in interest from the United Kingdom is predicted given the weakening of the British Pound against the Euro following the UK’s vote to leave the EU (Brexit).
Marbella – Costa del Sol
- Marbella average property prices rose to €2,454 per square metre, an annual growth rate of 5.78%. The districts of Estepona and Benahavís also saw significant price increases.
- New Development projects continue to be the product type most in demand, with many selling off-plan and sometimes above asking price.
- Marbella continues to be predominantly an international market, with only 38% of Lucas Fox website visitors coming from Spain. Amongst international buyers the majority of interest comes from the United States, Western Europe and Scandinavia, with increasing interest from Middle Eastern buyers.
- In the first half of 2016 average monthly sales volume in the Balearics (which includes Ibiza) surpassed 1,000 transactions per month for the first time since 2007.
- Average prices in Ibiza have risen for the seventh consecutive quarter. The average price in Ibiza Town was €3,874 per square metre by June 2016, up from €3,022 per square metre at the same time last year, representing an annual growth of 28%. Average prices in Ibiza are currently €2,343 per square metre above the national average.
- 60% of Lucas Fox buyers have bought homes as a secondary residence with increasing numbers now purchasing for investment purposes given the annual increases in both sales and rental prices.
- According to Lucas Fox website data, the majority of international interest for Ibiza property comes from Western Europe and the United States.
- Over 75% of all Lucas Fox Barcelona New Development properties were bought by foreigners in the first half of 2016.
- New Developments are generally located in prime city locations such as Eixample and the Old Town in Barcelona, and Chamberí in Madrid. Ibiza and Marbella are also seeing increasing numbers of new projects.
- New Developments offer excellent potential for capital growth and decent rental returns. They are also attractive to lifestyle buyers who are either relocating or buying holiday homes.
- In the first six months of the year sales transactions of New Developments represented 40% of the Lucas Fox Barcelona office sales. There are potentially another 1,000 New Development units to hit the Barcelona market during the last two quarters of 2016 and during 2017.
- In all areas a significant proportion of these New Developments are being sold off-plan, almost always at asking price, with Lucas Fox Barcelona data showing an average rate of sales of 1 per week since the beginning of the year.