Office Rents In Barcelona To Grow By 30% In Three Years

18 February 2015 –

Barcelona is one of the cities with the greatest potential for real estate growth in Europe. At least, it is according to the 2015 Trend report, prepared by CBRE.

The international consultancy firm’s 2015 Trend Report says that the office segment is the main driver of Barcelona’s (real estate) market, and it estimates that rents will grow by between 25% and 30% between now and 2018.

Significant investment was made in offices in Barcelona in 2014, amounting to €844 million in total, i.e. 139% more than in 2013. In total, 19 transactions were closed (an increase of 31%) and more than 340,000 m2 of properties changed hands (112% more than in the previous year). This data clearly shows that investors’ appetite for this type of asset has returned to its pre-crisis levels.

In terms of occupancy rates, tenants leased 258,000 m2 of office space in 2014, the highest figure since the start of the crisis, and very close to the annual average for the past 10 years, with new business areas (Plaza Europa, 22@) accounting for 45% of the total, recovering their domination over the city centre.

An important factor to take into account is the progressive decrease in stock in the city centre, which resulted in 90,000 m2 less (available) office space in 2014. The main reason for this change was the conversion of offices into hotels, such as in the cases of Torre Agbar and the former headquarters of Cuatrecasas, as well as demand by tenants for higher quality, efficient spaces.

The report includes a Real Estate Barometer, which has been calculated for more than 10 years, based on a survey conducted with almost 200 industry executives. According to the majority of these executives, the most interesting development is that the role of vulture funds in Spain will decrease in 2015 with respect to last year. In fact, 64% confirm that this year will be dominated by ‘core’ funds and investors, i.e. those that invest on a long-term basis and are looking for greater security.

In terms of investment, the main players in the sector consider that the office and retail outlet segments will account for the majority of investment in Spain, whereby continuing the trend observed in previous years.

Original story:

Translation: Carmel Drake