When it comes to investing in luxury real estate, knowing industry insiders’ top tips can make a significant difference to your portfolio. Over the last couple of decades or so, as Catalonia has seen its middle-class population grow, the definition of luxury has changed – whether it be food, travel, clothing or indeed, property.
Going by price alone is no longer a sole indicator that what you are buying is a high-end product. After all, “luxury” and “expensive” can mean very different things. Likewise, adding a couple of zeros to a home’s price tag and calling it “luxury” no longer washes with High Net Worth homebuyers. Buyers with this level of purchasing power rarely want to compromise and are intent on finding the very best properties in the perfect location on the market.
“Luxury is probably an overused word in real estate and in recent years it has lost some of its caché,” explains BCN Advisors CEO Francisco Nathurmal. “Luxury is entirely subjective. One person’s interpretation of luxury won’t necessarily coincide with another’s. Luxury should be about the entire package. It can relate to lifestyle or it can relate to the quality of a finish – and generally a combination of the two. One of the key factors is location. Irrespective of the quality of a particular property, it would be hard to sell unless the location is equally desirable. Luxury is a combination of quality, style, location, surroundings, views, privacy and lifestyle.”
In recent years, architects and construction firms have had to up their game to ensure standards of homes are consistently high and whilst there may not be an exact definition of luxury, some standard features exist throughout all luxury homes in Barcelona. We hope that our tips below will help you to find your uniquely perfect home in this beautiful city and also make sure it is 100% authentically luxurious.
Before deciding where to buy, it is always advisable to research the market of properties in any potential location to gauge the average property price per square metre. In Barcelona, there are several ways of doing this, one of which is by looking at the INE www.ine.es (Spain’s Institute of Statistics) website which updates sales volume and value every quarter. Registradores www.registradores.es (The Association of Spanish Land Registrars) also includes good statistics on the market including the proportion of foreign buyers, always a good indicator of a location that has potential of decent capital appreciation. If your Spanish comprehension is of a high standard, it might also be worth browsing newspapers such as Expansión or La Vanguardia, which regularly have up-to-date information and analysis of the market. The English language website Spanish Property Insight spanishpropertyinsight.com also offers expert commentary on many different property-related themes. With regards to property prices, there are 6 key indices which, in the current market, can give varying information as some indices are based on asking price and others based on actual sales price. The main ones are: idealista idealista.es (leading property portal), INE ine.es, TINSA tinsa.es (leader in market appraisals and valuations), Registradores registradores.es, Notaries elnotario.es (The General Council of Notaries) and Fomento fomento.es (Government-sourced statistics).
Like anywhere else in Europe, real estate prices in Barcelona reflect their surroundings and location is a key feature of any luxury home. In Barcelona, for example, there are prime districts and within those prime districts you can also find micro prime districts.
Take Eixample Right – a highly desirable residential area of Barcelona. Here you have certain streets that are more sought-after than others such as Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya and Carrer d’Enric Granados. These streets have the highest price per square metre for a variety of reasons including proximity to the city centre, top restaurants and designer shops as well as good communications and the quality of the properties themselves.
This exceptional property is located on the highly desirable micro prime area of Paseo de Gracia
Look for privacy and convenience
Look at any portfolio of luxury properties, and two key aspects stand out. The first is privacy, and with it the ability to eliminate distractions and noises. This can be in the form of a gated community or property in a secluded location. Privacy doesn’t mean cutting yourself off completely however, because convenience is also a key requirement.
This exceptional home in Gràcia for example is an oasis of calm and tranquility but is still ideally connected with the rest of the city. The combination of total privacy and a central city location is a luxury affordable only for some.
Choose a lifestyle home
Your home is a reflection of who you are and a place of refuge, a haven to recharge your batteries, and relax. It reflects your lifestyle and beliefs and typically has a theme, whether you incorporate this at a later stage or look for it during the buying process. Barcelona is a growing hub for lifestyle investors as it incorporates a plethora of enviable benefits such as award-winning gastronomy, beautiful architecture and a perfect climate as well as being a growing centre for start-ups and fintech businesses. Barcelona has become Europe’s leading “urban resort”, offering the perfect combination of city and beach life.
Stop browsing the Internet and consult the experts!
The Internet can be a useful starting point for any property research, particularly if you need tips about the buying process. Ultimately, however, the role of a (reputed) real estate agent role is more important. An agent specialising in high-end property will have comprehensive experience in the sector. They will keep you on track, keep your confidence and may also have contacts for properties that are not on the mainstream market. They can also help you through the sometimes complex legalities of the buying process and recommend lawyers, surveyors and management services. At BCN Advisors we ensure that every buyer gets the very best professional service from the start of your property search through to completion and beyond.