Spain’s second city offers a heady mix of cultural, culinary, sporting and architectural attractions that entice tourists from all over the world to visit its busy streets and shoreline. But Barcelona is not just a holiday destination: it is also a business and financial centre, with the city’s World Trade Center and Fira de Barcelona hosting hundreds of international events each year.

The property market in Barcelona is thriving and residential developers are reaping the benefits. Much of the new supply created in recent years has come from refurbishments and conversions of existing stock in city centre. Now that redevelopment opportunities in the city are diminishing, developers are turning their focus to the outer areas of Barcelona. While the newbuild sector is still smaller than before the economic downturn, newbuild sales outside the city centre has increased by 6% over the last three years (2015 – 2017).

Overall sales volumes in Barcelona in 2017 were up 43% on the 10-year average. This high level of demand is creating growth in prices, which rose by 17% year-on-year in 2017. With strong growth over the past few years, especially towards the end of 2018, average prices in the most affluent districts are close to levels from the previous market peak in 2008.

The average price per sq ft in Barcelona is $347, with prime property averaging $446psf. Prices in the most sought after areas of like Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Eixample and Les Corts are generally higher at $500-$700psf. Barcelona’s rental market has also seen rapid growth over the past three to four years,
caused by the imbalance between supply and demand as well as the requirement for short-term rentals by tourists, especially in the central parts of Barcelona.

Given price rises in central Barcelona, locals are increasingly seeking rental homes in the periphery, creating strong rental growth in these areas too.

Overall rental growth was nearly 8% year-on-year in 2017 taking rents to a historical high. This level of growth cooled gradually throughout 2018, driven by a softening of rental prices in the city centre.