According to the latest study by Forcadell, the rental market in Barcelona is still on upward trend in terms of both the volume of demand and the number of transactions: by the third quarter of 2018, 10.3% more rental contracts had been signed then in 2017 during the same period.
As far as home purchases are concerned, existing homes are the main properties being sold
These accounted for 91% of purchases in the first 3 quarters of 2018 in Barcelona province, while just 9% of sales were new-builds. By area, Ciutat Vella stands out as the district with the highest increase in properties for sale in the second half of 2018, due to the switching of flats from tourist rental to traditional letting. Ciutat Vella and Eixample together have 40% of the flats for sale in the Catalan capital. In Barcelona as a whole, there has also been an increase in flats for sale owned by banks and investment funds.
Ciutat Vella and Eixample together have 40% of the flats for sale
The prices of these rentals in 2018 did not rise by so much, the upward trend having moderated. Sarrià – Sant Gervasi, Les Corts and Gràcia are the districts with the sharpest rises compared with the first half of 2018 (around 4.5-7%). However, some owners who, up until now, were seeking the highest rents, have started to adjust and adapt them to what tenants are actually willing to pay.
As far as sale prices are concerned, the districts with the highest prices in Barcelona are Sarrià – Sant Gervasi, Les Corts and Eixample. Although it is worth pointing out that they are also the areas in which, on average, the largest flats were sold in 2018 (around 103 m2).
An upward trend with an increase in new-build projects in Barcelona
Moreover, residential developments have been on an upward trend for 4 years in Barcelona with a considerable increase in new-build projects. Developers have been recovering, buyers have more financial stability and prices are rising. According to the Catalan Association of Developers and Builders (APCE), in 2018 there were 27% more developments in Barcelona than the previous year. Eixample, Sant Andreu and Sant Martí were the most active districts.
Hospitalet de Ll., Terrassa, Sabadell, Badalona and Sant Cugat del Vallès saw the highest levels of property development
The average price for a new-build rose by 4% compared with the first half of 2018 and 8% since the end of 2017. The outskirts of Barcelona have seen higher increases than the capital. This contrast is mainly due to the city of Barcelona having accumulated more half-years of increases and, at the end of the year, prices there started to consolidate.
However, the supply of new-builds in Barcelona is still very low for the volume of demand in the Catalan capital, which is pushing prices up. Sant Martí is the district with the best prospects for residential developments in the coming financial years, particularly in the 22@ and Poblenou areas.
Outside of the city, Baix Llobregat stands out as the area in which the highest number of developments are currently taking place. This, together with cities such as Hospitalet de Ll., Terrassa, Sabadell, Badalona and Sant Cugat del Vallès, is where the highest levels of property development have been seen.