The latest figures published by the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE) show quite clearly that property buyers are returning to Barcelona. the number of sales in the third quarter of 2021 in the province of Barcelona is up by almost 57% when compared to the third quarter of 2020.
Property sales in 2020 understandably took a knock due to the Covid-19 pandemic so it is no surprise that numbers are up on last year but this latest data indicates a promising change for the property sector, with the number of sales in Barcelona province in the first three quarters of 2021 (43,467 sales) increasing by 33% when compared to the same period in 2020 (32,743 sales).
INE registered 43,467 sales in the first nine months of 2021, back to a similar level to that of 2019 when 42,893 sales transactions were registered in the first nine months of the year, and up 83% on the number of sales in the same period in 2014 (23,722 sales). However, when compared to the peak of 2007, sales in the first three quarters of 2021 are still 23% below the number of sales in the same period in 2007.
Property sales rise
When looking at the quarter on its own, the number of sales in the third quarter of 2021 in the province of Barcelona is up by almost 57% when compared to the third quarter of 2020, according to INE. Sales have shown an increase of just over 7% when compared to the previous quarter of the year, suggesting a continued upward trend.
INE registered 15,427 sales in the third quarter of 2021 in the province, up on the sales in the same period in 2019 (an increase of 13%) and even slightly up on the number of sales transactions in the same period in the peak of 2007 (an increase of 0.3%).
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The province of Barcelona remains an extremely attractive option for property buyers registering as the second highest province in terms of numbers of property transactions, second only to the Community of Madrid where INE registered 21,670 sales in the third quarter of 2021.
The number of sales of new homes in the province of Barcelona in the third quarter of 2021 was up by almost 31% when compared to the sales of new homes in the same period in 2020.
However, the sales of new homes in the third quarter of 2021 represented a smaller proportion of all property sales (20%) than the equivalent proportion in the third quarter of 2020 (25%). This is very different to the peak of 2007 when 62% of all sales were for new homes in the third quarter of that year.
Property sales in Barcelona province
The number of sales in Barcelona city itself is also increasing, with the latest data from the Generalitat de Catalunya registering a rise of 26% when comparing the number of sales transactions in the first two quarters of 2021 with the same period in 2020. All of the city’s ten districts registered increases in terms of sales transactions:
- –Eixample properties: 1,031 sales (78% increase)
- -Sant Martí: 975 sales (23% increase)
- -Horta-Guinardó: 715 sales (13% increase)
- –Sants-Montjuïc properties: 663 sales (4% increase)
- -Sant Andreu: 663 sales (16% increase)
- -Nou Barris: 606 sales (23% increase)
- –Sarrià-Sant Gervasi properties: 570 sales (37% increase)
- -Gràcia: 516 sales (26% increase)
- -Old Town: 488 sales (33% increase)
- -Les Corts: 315 sales (14% increase)
Foreign interest in Barcelona does not appear to have waned despite the inevitable complications with both Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, with the latest data from the Spanish Registrars Association (Registradores) showing that 8% of the total sales in Barcelona Province in the third quarter of 2021 were made by foreigners, compared to 4.5% in Madrid.
Buy before property prices rise
Whilst property sales are increasing, this hasn’t been quite the same for property prices in Barcelona city, where prices in the city’s ten districts are either steadying or continuing to drop slightly. However, with no shortage of property buyers, those looking to sell their property could soon be tempted to adjust their prices accordingly.
Average property prices across the city of Barcelona as a whole ended the third quarter of 2021 on €3,925 per square metre, according to property portal Idealista, showing an annual decrease of 3.90%. However, average property prices in two of the city’s ten districts showed an increase: apartments in Gràcia and apartments in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, where average prices ended the third quarter on €4,194 per square metre (an annual increase of 1.6%) and €5,207 per square metre (an annual increase of 0.5%) respectively.
The city’s other eight districts all showed an annual decrease. When looking at the change when compared to the previous month prices can be seen to be steadying but they still have a way to go before they return to the levels of September 2019.
- -Gràcia: €4,194 (1.6% annual increase, 1.1% monthly decrease, 2.1% decrease since September 2019)
- -Sarrià-Sant Gervasi: €5,207 (0.5% annual increase, 0.4% monthly decrease, 3.4% decrease since September 2019)
- -Sants-Montjuïc: €3,359 (0.9% annual decrease, 0.6% monthly decrease, 5.9% decrease since September 2019)
- -Nou Barris: €2,425 (1.1% annual decrease, 1.0% monthly decrease, 5.4% decrease since September 2019)
- -Sant Martí: €3,629 (1.6 % annual decrease, 0.4% monthly decrease, 5.7% decrease since September 2019)
- -Sant Andreu: €3,080 (2.8% annual decrease, 0.6% monthly decrease, 5.2% decrease since September 2019)
- -Barcelona Old Town: €4,133 (3.9% annual decrease, 0.0% monthly decrease, 6.3% decrease since September 2019)
- -Eixample: €4,447 (4.1% annual decrease, 0.1% monthly increase, 7.1% decrease since September 2019)
- -Horta Guinardó: €3,010 (6.8 % annual decrease, 1.0% monthly decrease, 2.3% decrease since September 2019)
- -Les Corts: €4,628 (9.8% annual decrease, 1.3% monthly decrease, 3.2% decrease since September 2019)
“Major world events inevitably impact on property prices and the pandemic is no exception. Our market analysis shows that after a dip in prices and sales during 2020, sales are now taking an upward curve and prices are expected to do so soon. Comparing property prices in September 2019 to the same period in 2021, we see that there is still some way to go before we get back to parity. This is good news for opportunistic investors. Buying now – especially in desirable areas such as Eixample where prices have dropped – should mean a good return on investments in the mid to long term, thanks to the ongoing popularity of Barcelona as both a lifestyle and investment hub,” comments Francisco Nathurmal, founder and CEO of Bcn Advisors.