21 February 2018 – Eje Prime
Barcelona is growing with new homes, even though they are more expensive than they were five years ago. The Catalan capital is experiencing significant growth in the sale of new homes from its residential stock, despite the socio-political situation that has been rumbling along for several months. During the second half of 2017, the sector saw the number of new house sales grow by 28% in the province of Barcelona compared to the same period in 2016, according to a report from the real estate consultancy Forcadell.
In addition to transactions, the price of new homes and the number of developments also increased, although the consultancy indicates that the current supply of homes in this segment is still scarce in the city of Barcelona, due to the lack of space. The only land reserves left are located in the 22@ district and in Poblenou, “which makes an increase in building renovation activity very necessary in the Catalan capital. Currently, such activity only accounts for 3.5% of new residential developments”, according to Forcadell.
During the second half of the year, the report highlights the activity recorded in the months of July and November, with significant peaks in the number of new home sales: 717 and 607, respectively, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). In this sense, and given the lack of land in the Catalan capital, the Barcelona market is expanding towards its neighbouring municipalities, such as el Barcelonès, el Baix Llobregat and el Vallès Occidental.
Within the city of Barcelona, the district that had the largest supply of new build homes between June and December was Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, whilst Ciutat Vella and l’Eixample put the most renovated assets on the market. Prices in the capital grew by 2.7% in half-yearly terms, with an overall average price of €5,439/m2. In this area, Sant Andreu was the neighbourhood with the highest increase in prices; and for this year and next, Nou Barris is set to see the highest increases in the price of new homes, according to Forcadell. The overall trend for this year is also expected to be bullish.
Forecasts from the consultancy firm indicate that construction activity in Barcelona will continue to increase over the coming months, above all in the towns adjacent to the city. Nevertheless, the lack of buildable land and the delay in the granting of licences may water down the good times that the property development sector will enjoy from 2019 onwards.
Rental market – mismatch between supply and demand
The rental market, which has been so in vogue recently, suffered from an important mismatch between supply and demand for rental homes costing between €850 and €1,000. This situation has resulted from an increase in the interest from clients in the metropolitan area.
In terms of demand, Forcadell indicates that during the second half of the year (…) rental prices continued to rise.
In this way, the report from the consultancy firm places the average price of a rental home at €15.50/m2/month, up by 1.9% with respect to the same period in 2016. Ciutat Vella is the district that registered the highest rents in the Catalan capital, of €19/m2/month, but Forcadell estimates that the trend will stabilise in the city in 2018 (…).
Moreover, the sale of second-hand homes recorded a YoY increase of 5.1%, with 31,485 operations. According to Forcadell, l’Eixample was the district with the largest supply of homes in the second half of the year, followed by Sant Martí, Ciutat Vella and Sarrià-Sant Gervasi.
The sales prices of second-hand homes increased by 1.7% between the first and second halves of 2017, to record an increase of 6.8% with respect to the end of 2016. The average price paid for a home measuring 90 m2, with three or four bedrooms, in Barcelona was €2,952/m2.
Original story: Eje Prime
Translation: Carmel Drake