23 February 2018 – Eje Prime
In 2017, the office business in the Catalan capital recorded its highest volume of activity for ten years. According to the real estate consultancy Forcadell, 340,000 m2 of office space was leased in Barcelona in 2017, up by 12.2% compared to the previous year and also higher than the volume recorded in 2015, even though both years also saw record leasing figures. Moreover, the lack of space in the city of Barcelona has driven the office market to the outskirts of the city over the last 2 years – peripheral areas accounted for 20% of all of the space leased in 2017.
According to data from Forcadell, the availability rate of offices in Barcelona is continuing its downward trend, moving from 9.3% during the first half of 2017 to 8.8% by the end of 2017.
“That gradual decrease in product availability is due to the good leasing rate and the rapid absorption rate recorded over the last 2 years, and in particular during 2017”, say sources at the consultancy firm.
In terms of demand, the office market in Barcelona closed the second half of 2017 with an increase in demand of 9.2% with respect to the same period a year earlier. Demand for surface areas spanning more than 1,000 m2 was concentrated in the New Business Districts, specifically in 22@ and the Zona Franca, whilst demand for smaller surface areas rose in the prime and Central areas.
According to Forcadell, the average price per m2 of offices in Barcelona amounted to €13.5/m2/month at the end of 2017. During the second half of the year, office rents in the Catalan capital continued to show moderate increases in almost all areas, in line with the trend observed over the last 5 years. The average YoY variation in Barcelona amounted to 8%, identical to the increase recorded in H1 2017.
The consultancy firm’s outlook for the year ahead is that the office market in Barcelona will continue to attract interest from investors. “They are increasingly demanding a minimum rating category, given that that has become an essential requirement for companies moving into new work spaces”, say sources at Forcadell. Moreover, international funds specialising in the comprehensive renovation of office buildings have also shown interest in the Barcelona market, a trend that is expected to intensify during 2018 and 2019.
Original story: Eje Prime
Translation: Carmel Drake