Lucas Fox Spanish Real Estate Market Reports 2018

Lucas Fox’s coastal regions thrive during 2018 as cities take a backseat.

2018 was another very positive year for Spain’s property market with sales and prices up in almost every region and growth in new home sales rising almost every month for the last two years. With regards to Lucas Fox’s own figures, the coastal regions of the Costa Brava, the Costa del Sol and the island of Ibiza enjoyed one the best year’s to date, with foreign buyers continuing to drive sales.

Below is the Lucas Fox Property Market Report for 2018, taking a look at Spain’s economy and tourism, a Spanish property overview and detailed analysis of all our regions.

Spain’s Economy and Tourism

Spain’s economic growth continues but at a slightly slower pace than the past three years. In 2018 the economy grew at a rate of 2.5% but this is expected to decrease slightly in 2019 with growth predicted at 2.2% by the IMF. However, this is still significantly higher than the growth predictions in Germany (1.3%), France (1.5%) and the UK (1.5%). Unemployment, currently at 16%, is expected to continue to decrease, to 12.2% by the end of 2020.

Interest rates continue to stay low and a number of Spanish banks are also offering enticing fixed rate mortgages for non-residents at around 2.15%, adding to Spain’s appeal for property investors. Variable rates for non-residents are Euribor + 1.6% (Euribor is currently at -0.108%). The low interest rates combined with growing rents in key cities has meant that Spain now offers some of the best rental returns in Europe. According to Deloitte, Barcelona boasts Europe’s highest rental yield (at 5%) with Madrid and Valencia following in fourth and fifth place, ahead of London and Paris.

Although international visitor numbers were slightly down in Summer 2018 compared to Summer 2017, the total number of visitors throughout the year still showed a slight increase, of 1%, totalling just over 82.7 million visitors in 2018, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). Spain retained its place as the second most visited country in the world with France remaining in the top spot.

Spanish Property Overview

The Spanish property market continued to grow steadily in 2018 with 515,051 properties exchanging hands throughout the year, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), an increase of 10% over 2017. The number of sales of new homes in 2018 showed similar growth (11%), with 92,520 new homes being sold across Spain, representing 18% of the total sales, a similar proportion to 2017.

Latest data from the Spanish Department of Development (Fomento) shows that the total value of sales transactions in the first three quarters of 2018 was up 14% over the same period in 2017.

Figures from Fomento also show that the number of mid-market sales transactions (between €450,001 and €900,000) across Spain in the first six months of 2018 (latest data available) increased by 14% compared to the number of mid-market sales in the first six months of 2017. The number of prime sales transactions (over €900,000) in the first six months of 2018 also increased by 14% compared to those in the first six months of 2017.

According to the latest official data from the Spanish Property Registry (Registradores), around 65,500 homes were sold to foreigners in 2018 (representing 13% of total sales), up by 8% when compared to 2017 when just under 61,000 homes were sold (also representing 13% of total sales).

Idealista showed that Spanish resale property prices (based on asking prices) have continued to grow year-on-year, recording an annual increase of just over 8% at the end of 2018.

Lucas Fox – Key Findings

  • Turnover for the whole group was up 13.5% year-on-year.
  • Key second home destinations (Costa Brava, Ibiza, Marbella and Sitges) continued to see significant growth in both the number and total value of sales transactions, up by 51% and 88% respectively.
  • Lucas Fox’s sales in 2018 continued to be dominated by foreigners who accounted for 68% of sales, with the majority of buyers coming from the United Kingdom, France, the United States and Scandinavia.
  • Following on from previous trends, just over a third of all Lucas Fox buyers purchased property as a primary residence in 2018 with a similar share buying as a secondary residence. The remainder mainly bought for investment purposes.
  • The average price of a property sold by Lucas Fox in 2018 increased by 6%, averaging at €870,618.
  • The overall number of sales transactions completed by Lucas Fox in 2018 showed a small increase year-on-year (2%), due to the fallout in the first half of 2018 from the political situation in Catalonia. As most of Lucas Fox’s business continues to be conducted in Barcelona, there was a temporary dip in sales that has now eased.
  • The total value of Lucas Fox’s sales transactions showed a slightly more pronounced increase of 8%.
  • Prime sales (over €900,000) across all regions, however, were up by 28% year-on-year, most notably in the Costa Brava, Marbella and Ibiza.
  • The total value of offers and completed sales for New Development properties in 2018 showed an increase of nearly 60% year-on-year, proving that this key sector of the property market is once again gaining traction.

Property Market Analysis

Madrid

  • According to official figures the number of sales transactions in the Community of Madrid in 2018 increased by 8% over 2017, averaging 6,320 sales per month. The number of sales transactions of new homes also rose, by 11%. Sales of new homes represented 23% of the total number of sales in 2018, a similar proportion as in 2017. (INE)
  • The total value of sales transactions in the Community of Madrid in the first three quarters of 2018 (latest data available) grew by 17% over the amount of trading in the same period in 2017, with the total value of sales transactions of resale properties and new homes also both increasing by 17%. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The Madrid prime market is set to have an exceptional year – the number of prime sales transactions (over €900,000) in the Community of Madrid in the first six months of 2018 (latest data available) increased by 47% compared to the number of prime sales in the same period of 2017. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of foreign buyers in the Community of Madrid accounted for 5% of the total sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 6% in the fourth quarter of 2017. (Registradores)
  • Average property prices in Madrid city soared in 2018, showing an annual increase of 17%, ending the year on €3,846 per square metre. Average prices in the Centro district (including the neighbourhoods of Sol, Justicia and Cortes) rose by 8%, ending the year on an average of €4,975 per square metre. The sought-after districts of Chamartín, Chamberí and Salamanca ended the year on €5,016 per square metre (10% increase), €5,200 per square metre (8% increase) and €6,043 per square metre (10% increase) respectively. (Idealista, resale property prices)
  • Average rental prices in Madrid city showed an annual increase of 4% at the end of 2018, ending the year on €16.2 per square metre. Average rental prices in Centro (including the neighbourhoods of Sol, Justicia and Cortes), however, remained the same, ending the year on €19 per square metre. In the upmarket district of Chamberí rental prices increased by 7%, ending the year on €18.4 per square metre, whilst they were more muted in neighbouring Salamanca, rising by 0.5% to €18.6 per square metre. In Chamartiín prices rose by 2% to €16.2 per square metre. (Idealista)
  • Tourist numbers in the Community Madrid in 2018 increased by 6% over 2017, with the region hosting just over 7.1 million tourists in 2018. (INE)
  • The number of passengers arriving at Madrid-Barajas airport in 2018 was almost 58 million, showing an annual increase of 8% over passenger arrivals in 2017. (Aena)

Volume of Sales Transactions - Madrid Property Market

Lucas Fox Madrid

  • It was an excellent year for sales of new homes at Lucas Fox Madrid, with the number and total value of offers and completed sales for New Development properties in Madrid in 2018 both increasing year-on-year, by 22% and 62% respectively.
  • Overall Lucas Fox Madrid registered a slight dip in the number and total value of sales transactions during 2018. The first half of the year’s sales increased by 20% compared to the first half of 2017 but sales slowed in the third and fourth quarters of 2018. Sales in the fourth quarter were up compared to the third quarter, however, suggesting a positive trend for 2019.
  • National buyers accounted for 62% of all Lucas Fox Madrid sales in 2018, a notable increase on the proportion in 2017. Of the international buyers the majority continue to come from Latin America (half of all international buyers). 13% of all international buyers in 2018 came from the United Kingdom.
  • Almost half (43%) of all Lucas Fox Madrid buyers in 2018 purchased property as a secondary residence. 24% all Lucas Fox Madrid buyers purchased property as a primary residence and 14% bought for investment purposes, a substantially smaller proportion than in 2017.

Lucas Fox Madrid Buyer 2018 - Property market

“Demand for property in Madrid continued to grow during the first half of the year. However, things slowed down towards the end of the year. There has been double digit price increases in prime areas of Madrid over the last three years and prices may now have reached a point in some areas where some think they cannot go any higher. Madrid continues to be sought-after by international investors, mainly Latin Americans and Northern Europeans. The current political situation is having an effect on the national market following the change of government during the summer. Things should become clearer after the General Election on 25 April this year.

In the area of Sol, in the heart of the city, the first Four Seasons branded residence project in Spain, Canalejas, has sold some units for up to €24,000 per square metre, compared to the usual top end price of between €6,500 and €7,000 per square metre.

There is still a short supply of quality, renovated properties on the property market. Sourcing properties that fit the needs of the buyer is one of the biggest challenges. There are more New Developments and renovation projects coming onto the market but they are slow to arrive. We expect more developments to be available during 2019.

Barrio Salamanca remains the most sought-after area for Latin American buyers, due to its situation next to Retiro Park and its proximity to fashionable restaurants, bars and luxury brand name boutiques. However we have noticed a reduction in transactions from Venezuelan buyers lately and an increase from Mexican and Colombian investors. The areas of Justicia and Chamberí-Almagro continue to be in demand from national investors as well as Northern Europeans. For investors looking for capital growth, up-and-coming areas such as Tetuán, La Latina, and Lavapiés are the centre of attention.

Buyers at the higher end of the market are looking for refurbished apartments in classical buildings with 2 to 3 bedrooms, between 120m² and 200m², in prime central locations of the city, to use as a primary or second home. These clients are generally looking to spend between €1.5 million and €2.5 million. In the mid-market range (€500,000 to €700,000), investors are looking for New Developments or renovated apartments in strategic locations to rent out and obtain yields of between 4% and 5%.

I believe that demand will remain slow during the first few months of 2019. The property market should reactivate once the political situation becomes clearer with the central government in Spain and when the potential effects of Brexit are understood. I think that the outlook in general for Madrid is positive. It continues to be the third largest capital in Europe and has only really been put on the map in the last three years so still has a lot of room for development. I suspect that prices will not increase at the same levels as 2018 in prime areas but demand will continue to grow in other up-and-coming areas of the city.”

Rod Jamieson, Partner & Managing Director Lucas Fox

Barcelona

  • According to official figures the number of sales transactions in Barcelona Province in 2018 increased by just 2% over 2017, averaging 4,593 sales per month, largely due the political situation in 2017. The number of sales transactions of new homes showed a more significant increase (18%) when comparing sales in 2018 with those in 2017. Sales of new homes represented 15% of the total number of sales in 2018, compared to 13% in 2017. (INE)
  • The total value of sales transactions in Barcelona Province in the first three quarters of 2018 (latest data available) grew by 5% over the amount of trading in the same period in 2017, with the total value of sales transactions of resale properties growing by 4% and that of new homes by 18%. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of mid-market sales transactions (between €450,001 and €900,000) in Barcelona Province in the first six months of 2018 (latest data available) registered a decrease, of 2%, when compared to the number of mid-market sales in the same period in 2017. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of prime market sales transactions (over €900,000) in Barcelona Province in the first six months of 2018 (latest data available) also decreased, by 18%, when compared to the number of prime sales in the same period in 2017. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of foreign buyers in Barcelona Province accounted for 9% of the total sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, very slightly down on the proportion in the fourth quarter of 2017. (Registradores)
  • Average property prices in Barcelona city showed a slight annual increase, of 1.4%, at the end of 2018, ending the year on €4,344 per square metre. Prices are significantly up (40%), however, since midway through 2014, the start of the property turnaround. Average prices in the desirable district of Gràcia showed an annual increase of 5% at the end of 2018, ending the year on €4,346 per square metre. Average prices also rose in the sought-after district of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, where prices ended 2018 on €5,351 per square metre, showing an annual increase of 3%, and in the district of Sant Martí (which includes the desirable neighbourhood of Diagonal Mar), where prices ended the year on €4,214 per square metre, showing an annual increase of 6%. In the central district of Eixample average prices remained fairly steady with just a slight increase of 0.5%, ending 2018 on €5,005 per square metre. (Idealista, resale property prices)
  • Average rental prices in Barcelona city registered an annual decrease of almost 1% at the end of 2018, ending the year on €17.3 per square metre. Average prices in several prime areas have also come down – in Eixample by 1.5% to €17.9 per square metre and in Gràcia by 1.3% to €15.9 per square metre. Average prices in Barcelona Old Town showed only a very slight decrease, of 0.3%, ending the year on €18.9 per square metre. (Idealista)
  • Having shown annual increases of around 5% in recent years, tourist numbers in Catalonia showed little increase in 2018 when compared to 2017, with the region hosting just over 19.1 million tourists throughout the year. (INE)
  • The number of passengers arriving at Barcelona-El Prat airport in 2018 showed an annual increase of 6% over passenger arrivals in 2017. Just over 50 million passengers arrived at Barcelona-El Prat airport in 2018. (Aena)

Volume of sales transactions - Barcelona Property Market

Lucas Fox Barcelona

  • The political situation in the second half of 2017 in Catalonia continued to have a knock-on effect on Lucas Fox’s sales in Barcelona in 2018 with both the number of sales transactions and the total value of sales transactions down compared to 2017. The first half of 2018 was particularly slow but Barcelona sales in the second half more than doubled compared to the first two quarters. However, the number of sales transactions in the prime market range (over €900,000) in 2018 increased by 20% when compared to those in 2017.
  • The total value of offers and completed sales for New Development properties in Barcelona in 2018 increased significantly, by 40%, a trend expected to continue throughout 2019.
  • The average price of a property sold by Lucas Fox Barcelona in 2018 was up, showing an increase of 7% compared to 2017, averaging at €851,606.
  • International buyers accounted for 72% of all Lucas Fox Barcelona sales in 2018. US buyers accounted for 23% of all sales and UK buyers 8%, both down on the proportion in 2017. The remaining buyers were mainly split between other European countries. Of those buyers purchasing property in the mid-market range (between €450,000 and €900,000) national buyers accounted for 20% of all buyers, US buyers 31% and UK buyers 12%. Of those purchasing property in the prime market range (over €900,000) 33% came from Spain, 19% from the United States and 8% from the United Kingdom.
  • Following on from recent trends, the majority of all Lucas Fox Barcelona buyers purchased property for investment purposes (41%), suggesting that there is still confidence in the market. 36% bought as a primary residence and 17% as a secondary residence.
  • 48% of Lucas Fox Barcelona buyers purchasing property in the mid-market range (between €450,000 and €900,000) bought homes for investment purposes, with the majority of the remainder buying as a primary residence.
  • In the prime market range (over €900,000), the majority of Lucas Fox Barcelona buyers purchased as a primary residence (44%), with those buying as a secondary residence accounting for 17% and those buying for investment purposes accounting for 31%.
  • The Lucas Fox Barcelona rental market in 2018 was buoyant. The number of rental transactions increased substantially, by 36%, compared to 2017, with the price averaging at €2,203 per month, down 12% on the average price in 2017.

Lucas Fox Barcelona Mid-Market Buyer - Property Market

Lucas Fox Barcelona Prime Buyer - Property Market

“I believe that 2019 should be a positive year for the property market in Barcelona as confidence continues to grow, particularly amongst international investors. As exclusive world-class New Developments become available in prime areas, we expect the results to be promising. Demand for investing in Spain on a global scale is growing consistently and Barcelona will continue to benefit from this. Also Spanish banks generally have a positive attitude when it comes to lending to international buyers, and, as interest rates remain relatively low, this will facilitate property purchases.

The Barcelona property market took a hit at the beginning of the year due to the political situation in Catalonia, which temporarily made international investors more hesitant as a result. Despite this, demand returned fairly steadily as the year went on with prices coming down as much as 15% in some areas. In sought-after prime areas such as Eixample, prices were not affected that much and demand stayed constant. There have been several interesting New Development projects that have come onto the market during the year and the rate of sale has been solid throughout the year. The top end of the market continued to be active during 2018, and many transactions were closed between wealthy Catalan families.

There was a notable shift in interest during the year from international to local buyers. As a company, Lucas Fox required a change of strategy internally to handle the increase in local enquiries. Although enquiries from new international buyers dropped significantly, existing clients in our database who know Barcelona well continued to be interested in buying. As confidence returned during the year the number of transactions closed with international investors increased once again.

Due to the political situation there was a trend of many buyers putting in low offers during the year. The constant challenge has been to manage the expectations of buyers and to reassure them that prices have not dropped as much as they thought and that Barcelona continues to be a strong and solid investment.

Eixample remains the most sought-after area in Barcelona, where you will find stunning Modernista buildings with attractive façades. It is just a short walk from Paseo de Gracia where you will find the luxury shopping district. The Diagonal Mar area is also liked by international buyers, due to its modern towers next to the beach with excellent views of the city and Mediterranean.

Most buyers are looking for refurbished apartments in buildings with character, lots of natural light, high ceilings, spacious living rooms, high-end kitchens, 2 to 3 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and some form of outdoor space, whether it be a balcony or terrace.”

Rod Jamieson, Partner & Managing Director Lucas Fox

Valencia

  • According to official figures the number of sales transactions in Valencia Province in 2018 increased by 14% over 2017, averaging 2,542 sales per month. However, the number of sales transactions of new homes showed a decrease of 5% when comparing sales in 2018 with those in 2017. Sales of new homes represented 11% of the total number of sales in 2018, compared to 13% in 2017. (INE)
  • The total value of sales transactions in Valencia Province in the first three quarters of 2018 (latest data available) grew by 23% over the amount of trading in the same period in 2017, with the total value of sales transactions of resale properties increasing by 26%. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of foreign buyers in Valencia Province accounted for 10% of the total sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 11% in the fourth quarter of 2017. (Registradores)
  • Average property prices in Valencia city increased significantly, showing an annual increase of 16% at the end 2018, ending the year on €1,942 per square metre. Average prices in the sought-after districts of the Old Town, Eixample and El Pla del Real ended the year on €2,766 per square metre (8% increase), €2,997 per square metre (13% increase) and €2,593 per square metre (12% increase) respectively. (Idealista, resale property prices)
  • Average rental prices in Valencia city showed an annual increase of 9% at the end of 2018, ending the year on €8.9 per square metre. (Idealista)
  • Tourist numbers in Valencia continued to increase in 2018, although at a lower rate than in previous years, growing by 3% over visitor numbers in 2017. The Valencian Community hosted just over 9.2 million tourists in 2018. (INE)
  • The number of passengers arriving at Valencia airport in 2018 showed an annual increase of 15% over passenger arrivals in 2017. Just over 7.7 million passengers arrived at Valencia airport in 2018. (Aena)

Volume of Sales Transactions - Valencia Property Market

Lucas Fox Valencia

  • The average property price increased significantly in 2018, up by 19% to €486,512, from €408,371 in 2017.
  • The number of sales transactions completed by Lucas Fox Valencia was similar in 2018 compared to 2017. However, the total value of sales transactions was up, by 16%.
  • National buyers accounted for 62% of all Lucas Fox Valencia sales in 2018, a similar proportion to 2017. 7% of buyers came from the United States and 5% from the United Kingdom. The remainder of the buyers came from Latin America, Asia and other European countries.
  • 55% of all Lucas Fox Valencia buyers in 2018 purchased property as a main home. 26% purchased property as a secondary residence and the remainder purchased for either investment or relocation purposes.
  • The number of rental transactions completed by Lucas Fox Valencia in 2018 increased significantly, by just over 50%, with the price averaging at €1,706 per month, down 16% on the average price in 2017.

Lucas Fox Valencia Buyer - Property Market

“2018 has been a positive year for the property market in Valencia, capitalising on the inertia of previous years with double digit growth year-on-year. The first three quarters were particularly encouraging but there was a slight slowdown in the fourth quarter. The start of 2019 has been positive and bodes well for the rest of the year.

As in previous years, demand is greatest in Eixample, Patacona and around the Alameda area. Within the Metropolitan area, Ademuz and Monasterios are highly sought-after.

International buyers continue to show a great appreciation for all things Valencian, from its lifestyle to its award-winning gastronomy. This year we have seen many more US buyers. British, French, Italian and Dutch buyers also account for a significant proportion. Foreign buyers tend to buy renovated properties with good finishes. They also tend to want the property to be well orientated with outside space.

On a national level, forecasters are predicting steady sales growth of 5%. Latest data from Valencia suggests that next year will be positive and even with some price corrections. We might then see a better balance between demand and supply of property and a steadier market with regards to price and transactions.

Lucas Fox Valencia will be growing its New Developments department, offering a range of different services to promotors. With regards to our core business of sales, we’ll be focusing on sales to international clients, particularly the sale of exclusive luxury homes, our specialism.”

Juan Luis Herrero, Partner Lucas Fox Valencia

Maresme

  • According to official figures the number of sales transactions in the Maresme region in 2018 increased by 13% over 2017. (Generalitat de Catalunya)
  • Average property prices in the Maresme region showed an annual increase of 14% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, ending the year on €2,228 per square metre. (Generalitat de Catalunya)

Lucas Fox Maresme

  • Both the number of sales transactions and the total value of sales transactions completed by Lucas Fox Maresme in 2018 were down on 2017. However, sales were up in the fourth quarter of 2018 by 33% compared to the third quarter of 2018, suggesting an encouraging trend for the year ahead.
  • The average property price for homes sold by Lucas Fox Maresme in 2018 was around €600,000 during 2018, mainly for family homes.
  • International buyers accounted for 69% of all Lucas Fox Maresme sales in 2018, a similar proportion to 2017. Of these buyers, 27% came from the United Kingdom and 18% from the United States, with the remaining buyers coming from other European countries.
  • The majority of Lucas Fox Maresme buyers continue to purchase property as a primary residence (56%) with the remainder mainly buying as a secondary residence (19%) or for relocation purposes (19%).

Lucas Fox Maresme Buyer - Property Market

“It has been a challenging year in the Maresme property market. Whilst sales volume is down only slightly compared to 2017 the average transaction value has fallen significantly to around €600,000 and the higher end of the market (more than €900,000) has seen less activity than in previous years. Resale product still accounts for the majority of sales in the Maresme with the greatest sales volume at the €300,000 to €600,000 price range. The Maresme remains a largely primary residence area. The softening of prices in Barcelona city in late 2017 and the early part of 2018 may have contributed to the fall in activity in Maresme with local sellers holding on to their Barcelona homes in a slowing market. Maresme remains, however, excellent value for money with 4-bedroom detached homes in sought-after areas starting at around €600,000 – the equivalent price of a typical 80m² 2-bedroom apartment in Barcelona’s Eixample district.

The drop in movement at the higher end of the property market and the fall in international buyers was somewhat unexpected and has been in fairly stark contrast to 2017 trends and results. However, we have already seen a very positive start to 2019 in Maresme with a number of offers on the table.

Stock remains one of the biggest challenges in the Maresme, not necessarily in terms of quantity but in terms of quality. Much of the housing stock in the region is made up of detached properties constructed in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Some of these properties have been principally used as second homes and in general houses in Maresme require a degree of renovation – and this isn’t always reflected in the price in the more sought-after areas. The relatively limited stock of new build projects is also a challenge. Whilst there have been several New Development projects in Maresme in 2018, these tend to be small scale projects with a limited number of units and often marketed by local developers. Larger scale, quality developments in prime areas are in short supply.

Demand remains highest in the towns closest to Barcelona city in the southern part of the Maresme region, specifically Alella, El Masnou, Premià de Mar, Premià de Dalt, Cabrils and Vilassar de Mar.

Maresme remains a highly attractive location for both local and international buyers and prices remain extremely competitive when compared with other coastal and inland areas within commuting distance of central Barcelona. Prices in Maresme also compare very favourably against Barcelona city itself, making it an attractive option for buyers – particularly young, growing families looking for affordable, detached properties close to the city and beach. The popularity of Maresme among the foreign community is reflected in the opening of a new international school in Canet de Mar later this year. Taking all this into account, coupled with a growing Spanish economy, we would expect a positive outlook in 2019 and beyond. Key to this will be an increase in quality new build stock coming onto the market. There is a clear appetite for new homes in the region and supply is failing to meet the ever-growing demand.”

Tom Maidment, Partner Lucas Fox Maresme

Sitges

  • According to official figures the number of sales transactions in Sitges in 2018 decreased by 6% when compared to 2017. (Generalitat de Catalunya)
  • Average property prices in Sitges showed an increase of 2% at the end of 2018, ending the year on €3,849 per square metre. Average prices in the neighbouring areas of Castelldefels and Gavà also increased compared to the average price in 2017, ending the year on €3,371 (9% increase) and €3,057 per square metre (18% increase) respectively. (Idealista, resale property prices)
  • Although down on the average price at the end of the third quarter of 2018, average rental prices in Sitges showed an annual increase of 4% at the end of 2018, ending the year on €13.9 per square metre. Average rental prices in neighbouring Gavà also increased, by 5%, ending the year on €16.3 per square metre. Average rental prices in Castelldefels, however, showed a decrease, of 12%, ending the year on €14.2 per square metre. (Idealista)

Lucas Fox Sitges

  • Both the number of sales transactions and the total value of sales transactions completed by Lucas Fox Sitges in 2018 decreased compared to 2017.
  • The average property price in 2018 showed an increase, of 3%, to €993,744, when compared to the average price in 2017.
  • Foreign buyers accounted for 89% of all Lucas Fox Sitges sales in 2018, a similar proportion to 2017, with the majority coming from Europe. 19% of all international buyers came from the United Kingdom.
  • Two thirds of all Lucas Fox Sitges buyers in 2018 purchased property as a secondary residence, a larger proportion than in 2017, with the majority of the remaining buyers buying as a primary residence.

Lucas Fox Sitges BUyer - Sitges Property Market

“According to official figures the rhythm of all sales in Sitges and the surrounding areas has slowed down slightly this year. Nevertheless we have had steady sales, mainly from Northern European buyers looking for detached modern properties with sea views in the residential areas in the hills overlooking Sitges.

What we have also seen this year is that many owners who have previously bought from us are now moving due to personal circumstances and offering us their properties to market for them.

Our greatest challenge has been getting buyers to understand that it is not always possible to find a property that ticks all the boxes and that they might have to compromise or adapt a property to their needs by undertaking light renovations. Also getting buyers to understand what actually is on offer and what their money can buy in this area.

The products most in demand are town centre or seafront apartments especially those with tourist licences, detached villas with pools and sea views in the hills of Levantina and Vallpineda and villas within walking distance of the beach in the sought-after areas of Vinyet and Terramar.

There has been increasing interest from international families relocating to Sant Pere de Ribes, just 3km inland from Sitges, where your money can go further and all amenities are within walking distance.

International buyers want a good neighbourhood, sea views, a well built property and proximity to the town, beaches and good schools.

2019 looks promising. We have several large deals in the pipeline as well as some interesting new build apartments coming onto the market to offer our clients.”

Rachel Haslam, Director Lucas Fox Sitges

Costa Brava & Girona

  • According to official figures the number of sales transactions in Girona Province in 2018 increased by 6% over 2017, averaging 918 sales per month. The number of sales transactions of new homes also rose, by 17%, when comparing sales in 2018 with those in 2017. Sales of new homes represented 17% of the total number of sales in 2018, slightly up on the proportion (15%) in 2017. (INE)
  • The total value of sales transactions in Girona Province in the first three quarters of 2018 (latest data available) grew by 5% over the amount of trading in the same period in 2017, with the total value of sales transactions of resale properties increasing by 4% and the total value of sales transactions of new homes increasing by 21%. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of prime market sales transactions (over €900,000) in Girona Province in the first six months of 2018 (latest data available) increased by 18% compared to the prime sales in the first six months of 2017. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of foreign buyers in Girona Province (which covers the Costa Brava) accounted for 25% of the total sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 33% in the fourth quarter of 2017. (Registradores)
  • Average property prices in Girona Province showed an annual increase of 4% at the end of 2018. In the areas of Palamós and Sant Feliu de Guíxols the average property prices increased by 1% and 8% respectively. In Girona city itself average property prices increased by 14%. (Idealista, resale property prices)

Volume of Sales Transactions - Girona Property Market

Lucas Fox Costa Brava

  • Lucas Fox Costa Brava had an excellent year with both the number of sales transactions and the total value of sales transactions in 2018 increasing significantly compared to 2017.
  • The average property price in 2018 rose, to just over €1.2 million, showing an increase of 14% over the average price in 2017.
  • International buyers accounted for 80% of all Lucas Fox Costa Brava sales in 2018, a slightly larger proportion than in 2018. French buyers accounted for 30% of all buyers and UK buyers accounted for 23%. The remaining buyers largely came from other European countries, with just 4% coming from the United States.
  • The majority of Lucas Fox Costa Brava buyers in 2018 continued to purchase property as a secondary residence (70%) with 10% buying as a primary residence and 10% for investment purposes.

Lucas Fox Costa Brava and Girona - Property Market

“This has been a very positive year for the Costa Brava property market with the Lucas Fox office registering record-breaking sales figures and its best company results since launching in the area in 2007. The coastal areas that have seen greatest demand from high-end clients are in the central region of the Costa Brava, specifically the coastal areas from Palafrugell to Begur. Both British and French buyers have been particularly active and we have also seen increased activity at the higher end of the market from local buyers. The prime market (more than €900,000) has seen significant movement this year and this is reflected in the Lucas Fox average sales value of €1.2 million, up from €1.1 million in 2017. Whilst the supply of New Development product in the Costa Brava is still comparatively limited, quality new build homes in sought-after areas have seen strong demand. The Cala S’Alguer development of 48 new build apartments in a prime area of Palamós, which is marketed exclusively by Lucas Fox, has seen 70% of the available units sold off-plan in the first thirteen months. The development is expected to sell out before delivery in late summer of 2019.

After a strong year of sales in 2017, the rustic property market in Girona has continued to grow with sales of country homes now accounting for as much as 30% of the Costa Brava office turnover. The rustic market has been attracting a broad range of nationalities from national buyers to British, French, Dutch, Swiss, South African and Indian investors. The greatest volume of movement at the higher end of the market is in the €1.2 million to €2.5 million price range and the Baix Empordà remains the most sought-after area.

The increase in both sales volume and average sales value in 2018 compared to levels seen in 2017 has been much greater than anticipated and, specifically, the level of movement at the higher end of the market. Whilst other regions have seen a drop in sales volume in 2018, the Costa Brava seems to have bucked the trend and is attracting a very specific profile of buyer – the wealthy, second home, lifestyle investor.

The limited stock of new build product in prime areas remains a challenge, coupled with the supply of quality resale product in the €1 million to €2 million price bracket in the most sought-after areas.

In the Costa Brava international buyers are seeking second homes, predominantly for peak summer use. The majority is looking for family villas with sea views and private pools, ideally within walking distance of the nearest town or beach.

The profile of the inland (rustic) buyer is distinct. A significant proportion are looking for country houses to relocate to and from where they can run small businesses – either B&Bs, cycling businesses or yoga/wellness retreats.

As long as the quality and supply of property – both new build and resale – can satisfy demand there is no reason why the market shouldn’t continue along this positive trend. The Spanish economy is continuing to grow, rates are still low and Spain continues to offer a safe and attractive investment option. External factors such as Brexit and its possible impact on the British Pound and the spending power of UK buyers as well as wider implications for the European economy could still play a part in shaping the market in 2019.”

Tom Maidment, Partner Lucas Fox Costa Brava

Marbella-Costa del Sol

  • According to official figures the number of sales transactions in Málaga Province (which includes Marbella) in 2018 increased by 5% over 2017, averaging 2,703 sales per month. The number of sales transactions of new homes also increased, by 7%, when comparing sales in 2018 with those in 2017. Sales of new homes represented 19% of the total number of sales in 2018, a slightly higher proportion (18%) than in 2017. (INE)
  • The total value of sales transactions in Málaga Province in the first three quarters of 2018 (latest data available) grew by 19% over the amount of trading in the same period in 2017, with the total value of sales transactions of resale properties increasing by 14% and the total value of sales transactions of new homes increasing by 70%. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of prime market sales transactions (over €900,000) in Málaga Province in the first six months of 2018 (latest data available) showed an increase of 7% when compared to the prime sales in the first six months of 2017. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of foreign buyers in Málaga Province accounted for 29% of the total sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 32% in the fourth quarter of 2017. (Registradores)
  • Average property prices in Málaga Province showed an annual increase of 11% at the end 2018, ending the year on €2,108 per square metre. Average prices in Benahavís, Estepona and Marbella also increased, ending the year on €2,343 per square metre (9% increase), €2,066 per square metre (9% increase) and €2,840 per square metre (6% increase) respectively. (Idealista, resale property prices)
  • Average rental prices in Málaga Province showed an annual increase of 4% at the end of 2018, ending the year on €9.8 per square metre. (Idealista)
  • The number of passengers arriving at Málaga-Costa del Sol airport in 2018 showed an annual increase of 2% over passenger arrivals in 2017. Just over 19 million passengers arrived at Málaga-Costa del Sol airport in 2018. (Aena)

Volume of Sales Transactions - Malaga Property Market

Lucas Fox Marbella

  • Lucas Fox Marbella had a very successful year with the number of sales transactions increasing by a third when compared to 2017, and total value of sales transactions also increasing substantially compared to 2017.
  • The average property price in 2018 also rose significantly, to just over €1.2 million.
  • Foreign buyers accounted for 92% of all Lucas Fox Marbella sales in 2018, with all buyers coming from European countries. However, there has been an increase in interest from national buyers in 2018.
  • Continuing previous trends, all Lucas Fox Marbella buyers in 2018 purchased property as a secondary residence.

“2018 has been another successful year for Lucas Fox. There has been a big increase in the numbers of new build projects being launched, resulting in a significant increase in the supply of new homes on the market, whilst the level of demand for properties has stayed relatively the same. At the same time, prices have continued to increase, for both new build and resale properties, particularly in the key areas such as Marbella’s Golden Mile and Nueva Andalucía.

After the previous year’s focus on beachside developments and properties nearer to facilities, there has surprisingly been a large increase in the number of new inland luxury apartment projects launched in areas such as Benahavís and La Quinta. With prices ranging from €500,000 to €2 million, so far these seem to be selling well.

The biggest challenge for potential buyers is now being aware of and navigating the large number of new projects on the market and identifying the best and most appropriate. For this reason, the role of a professional and independent real estate agent is more important than ever in assisting a client in finding the best project.

The districts of Estepona, Benahavís and Mijas Costa are continuing to see the greatest growth in numbers of new properties due to still ongoing matters of the Marbella PGOU (General Urban Plan). In these areas homes are better value for money than in Marbella and so have become increasingly popular with buyers. International buyers are looking for value for money, new designs, quality and homes that are environmentally friendly.

With the high level of supply of new projects, dependent upon the level of demand from international buyers, the property market in 2019 may have a tendency to become a buyer’s rather than a seller’s market.”

Ira Brankovic, Lucas Fox Marbella

Ibiza

  • According to official figures the number of sales transactions in the Balearic Islands in 2018 decreased slightly, by 3%, over 2017, averaging 1,286 sales per month. The number of sales transactions of new homes remained steady when compared to the same period in 2017, down by just 0.9%. Sales of new homes represented 18% of the total number of sales in the 2018, compared to 17% in 2017. (INE)
  • The total value of sales transactions in the Balearic Islands in the first three quarters of 2018 (latest data available) showed a decrease, of 4%, over the amount of trading in 2017, with the total value of sales transactions of resale properties decreasing by 3% and the total value of sales transactions of new homes decreasing by 11%. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of prime market sales transactions (over €900,000) in the Balearic Islands in the first six months of 2018 (latest data available) decreased by 8% compared to the prime sales in the first six months of 2017. (Spanish Department of Development)
  • The number of foreign buyers in the Balearic Islands accounted for 34% of the total sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 35% in the fourth quarter of 2017. (Registradores)
  • Average prices in Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Santa Eulària des Riu and Ibiza Old Town, ended the year on €3,628 per square metre (12% increase), €3,901 per square metre (17% increase) and €5,078 per square metre (2% decrease) respectively. (Idealista, resale property prices)
  • The number of passengers arriving at Ibiza airport in 2018 showed an annual increase of 3% over passenger arrivals in 2017. Just over 8.1 million passengers arrived at Ibiza airport in 2018. (Aena)

Lucas Fox Ibiza

  • Lucas Fox Ibiza had an extremely successful year with both the number of sales transactions and the total value of sales transactions in 2018 up significantly compared to 2017.
  • The average property price in 2018 was just over €1.2 million, showing an increase of 23% over the average price in 2017.
  • Foreign buyers accounted for 91% of all Lucas Fox Ibiza sales in 2018, with the majority coming from European countries and a third of all international buyers coming from France.
  • All Lucas Fox Ibiza buyers in 2018 purchased property as a secondary residence.

Lucas Fox Ibiza Buyer - Property Market

“Ibiza had a positive first half of the year with many German, French and Danish buyers finalising property transactions. There was a slight dip in the last quarter but so far in 2019 we are seeing a number of deals finalised along with some slight price corrections, which we believe will result in more transactions during 2019. Overall the outlook is very encouraging.

The south west part of the island continues to be high in demand, such as Es Cubelles and Vista Alegre, where you are close to the more well known beaches. Also, inland locations such as Santa Gertrudis and Benimussa have become increasingly sought-after by those looking for privacy and secluded villas close to organic markets and restaurants. Demand for international schools has increased exponentially due to increasing numbers of children now living on the island all year round.

International buyers are generally looking for good quality villas with sea views and privacy, a short drive from the shops, beaches and airport. Many are purchasing for second home use or for investment purposes but also for personal use.

There are a number of New Development projects underway that should come onto the market during the year that will bring a supply of properties in the mid and prime markets, giving the advantage of being able to buy guaranteed high quality properties without legal issues.”

Rod Jamieson, Partner & Managing Director Lucas Fox

Note the following figures are provisional:

  • National Institute of Statistics (INE) (from January 2018)
  • Spanish Department of Development (Fomento) (from Q3 2018)

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