Average property prices in Barcelona city are beginning to steady with latest data from property portal Idealista showing only a slight annual increase of 1% at the end of the third quarter of 2018, with prices ending the quarter on €4,388 per square metre. Average prices in two of Barcelona’s most desirable districts – Gràcia and Sarrià-Sant Gervasi did see year-on-year increases, however. Average prices were up by 8% and 2%, ending the third quarter on €4,393 and €5,323 per square metres respectively. The up-and-coming areas of Nou Barris, Sant Andreu and Sants-Montjuïc also saw average prices rise, with prices ending the third quarter on €2,458 per square metre (16% increase), €3,025 per square metre (11% increase) and €3,773 per square metre (11% increase) respectively. The average prices in the central district of Eixample registered a slight decrease, of 2%, ending the quarter on €5,104 per square metre. (Idealista). Average prices also fell in Barcleona Old Town, to €4,482 per square metre (6% decrease) and the district of Sant Martí, to €4,104 per square metre (1% decrease).
The volume of sales transactions in Barcelona Province in the first eight months of 2018 increased by under 1% when compared to the first eight months of 2017, according to INE (Spanish Institiute of Statistics), mainly due to uncertainty in the property market caused by last year’s situation in Catalonia. The total number of sales transactions from January to August averaged at 4,727 sales per month – compared to 4,708 in 2017.
However, sales of new homes registered by INE in the first eight months of the year show a significant increase, of 20%, when compared to the same period last year. The number of sales of new homes represented 14% of the total number of sales in Barcelona Province in the first eight months of the year, slightly higher proportion than last year (12%).
When looking at Barcelona city itself, the latest figures from the Generalitat de Catalunya, whilst only being from the first two quarters of the year (the latest data available), show a more pronounced increased, with the number of sales transactions in the first two quarters of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 increasing by 9%.
Foreign interest in Barcelona continues to remain steady, with the latest data from the Spanish Registrars Association (Registradores) showing that 8.5% of the total sales in Barcelona Province in the second quarter of 2018 were made by foreigners, compared to 5.8% in Madrid.
Meanwhile, according to the Spanish Department of Development, the total value of sales transactions in Barcelona in the second quarter of 2018 grew by 3% over the amount of trading for the same period in 2017, with the total value of sales transactions of resale properties growing by 3% and that of sales of new homes sales by 2%.
“Now is a great moment to buy in Barcelona because of low interest rates,” comments BCN Advisors CEO Francisco Nathurmal. “In the future, we are not going to see these low rates again. They offer a very good opportunity for buyers and investors, especially for long-term mortgages with fixed rates. Barcelona has been attracting increasing numbers of international buyers for some time now thanks to its fantastic quality of life. The city is becoming increasingly well known as a FinTech hub and we’re seeing more and more millenials wanting to be part of this burgeoning start-up scene. Barcelona is also creating some interesting New Developments and refurbishments. This further enhances the architecture of the city and the regeneration of up-and-coming areas, such as Poble Sec and Parlament, is also making the city more attractive.”
There is good news for those looking to rent in the Catalan capital as average rental prices finally showed a decrease. According to Idealista, average rents came down by 5% at the end of the third quarter of 2018, ending on €17.3 per square metre. Average prices in several prime areas have come down – in Eixample by 9% to €17.7 per square metre, in Gràcia by 7% to €16.5 per square metre and in Barcelona Old Town by 3% to €19.1 per square metre.
Meanwhile Barcelona continues to be a big draw for foreign visitors. The number of passengers arriving at Barcelona-El Prat airport in the first nine months of 2018 showed an annual increase of 5% over passenger arrivals in the same period in 2017. Just over 38.6 million passengers arrived at Barcelona-El Prat airport in the first nine months of 2018, according to Aena.