Why now is the time to invest in Barcelona

Millions of people visit Barcelona every year and fall in love with Catalonia’s vibrant, energetic capital. This unique ‘urban resort’ is like no other, offering award-winning gastronomy, magical architecture, beautiful beaches and a burgeoning café culture.

Over the past 10 years or so increasing numbers of people who have been enticed by the city’s charms have become set on buying a home here. And it is easy to see why. With rental profits at an all time high, a healthy property market as well as a strong local economy driven by Fintech, pharmaceutical and numerous start-up companies, 2018 presents investors with numerous opportunties.

Despite last year’s referendum the number of property transactions in the city has continued to rise. According to Spain’s National Insitute of Statistics (INE), the number of property sales in the first 5 months of 2018 increased by 2.3% compared to the same period in 2018. The number of sales transactions of new homes increased by 28% in the same period. Spain’s Department of Development (Fomento) showed that prime sales (over €900,000) also went up, by 36%, in the whole of 2017 compared to 2016, showing that this sector of the market is recovering well.

Prices have recently readjusted in some areas but across the city as a whole they continue to steadily rise. And, as Barcelona’s economy continues to grow thanks, in part, to its reputation as a burgeoning business hub, increasing numbers of investors are turning to Spanish property after becoming disillusioned with badly performing pension schemes, savings plans and stock investments in their home countries. Many are now looking for opportunities that give a decent return on their investment.

So here are BCN Advisors top reasons why Barcelona property continues to be a solid investment in 2018 and beyond.

1. Property prices
Last year’s political situation in Catalonia had a knock-on effect on property prices in the city and, after three years of exponential growth, prices have readjusted in the first half of 2018. According to property portal Idealista, prices in Barcelona city rose by 3.5% in the year to the end of Q2 2018, significantly less than during the previous year. Areas particularly popular with foreign buyers saw muted increases and, in some cases, price drops (Eixample 1.3%, Sarria 4%, Old Town -2.4%, Sant Marti -1.2%) but there was still significant growth in up-and-coming districts such as Sants (12.9%), Sant Andreu (21.7%) and Nou Barris (12.6%). Forecasts point to steady price growth for the rest of 2018 and beyond, suggesting a long-term return on property investments.

2. Business, tourism and economy
Barcelona is one of the most wired cities in the world and has been the longtime host of the world’s largest mobile tech conference – the Mobile Wolrd Congress. Among some of the big tech companies that have a base in Barcelona are Amazon, Microsoft, Google, WeWork and Competence Call Centre, the company hired by Facebook to combat fake news and which recently rented eight floors of office space inside Torre Glòries. The ever increasing young workforce means an increasing demand for accommodation. This, in turn, guarantees the city’s future as a new generation of tech-savvy entrepreneurs make Barcelona their home. In 2000 foreigners accounted for less than 2% of the population. Just five years later the figure was 15% (266,000). In 2018 it is now officially 18% although many believe the figure is nearer 30%. In 2017 foreign buyers represented 9.4% of the population according to Registradores, the Spanish Land Registry. Meanwhile, the number of passengers arriving at Barcelona-El Prat airport in the first two quarters of 2018 was up by 6% compared to the same period in 2017, welcoming just over 23 million passengers (Aena).

3. Good rental yields
Renting out your home in Barcelona is becoming an increasingly popular way of earning, either as a main source of income or to supplement an existing income. As previously stated, Barcelona continues to draw in a dynamic workforce, most of whom initially look at renting rather than buying. Following the crackdown on short-term lets, more people are looking at renting out long-term and demand for good rental homes is on the increase. For investors this means rents will begin to creep up as will rental yield. According to Idealista the average rental yield in Barcelona year-on-year to Q2 2018 was 4.7% and this figure is expected to increase as demand for rental homes grows.

In conclusion, 2018 presents an ideal opportunity for property investors in Barcelona. Buyers can take advantage of the recent property price readjustment, the rental market is booming and the local economy, thanks to an influx of international companies, is going from strength to strength. Don’t miss out!