Property hunting in the Barcelona
Everyone remembers how in 2007 the global real estate collapse hit Spain hard. In Barcelona, home prices plunged by as much as 40 percent and sales didn’t pick up until 2014.
In mid to late 2014 we began to finally see international investors and institutional investors dip their toe in the market encouraged by the great value on offer.
In 2016 we began to see small price increases although the market remains significantly under value and far from recovery. The market has however ‘bottomed out’ in our view.
While prices in popular neighbourhoods such as the Eixample, Ciutat Vella and El Born, which are all popular with foreign home seekers, increased by 18 percent last year, Barcelona is still a bargain compared with other large European cities, including London and Paris.
Refurbished apartments of about 100 square meters (or 1,076 square feet) in the city centre can be had for about 5,000 euros a square meter, or about $500 a square foot. An unrenovated apartment (if you can find one!) in the city centre could sell for as little as 2,500 euros a square meter, or about $250 a square foot, while luxury penthouses or villas in prime areas could cost as much as 20,000 euros a square meter, or about $2,000 a square foot. A well-priced apartment or home can sell within a week.
‘Standing with you all the way’
We have helped many foreign buyers source their perfect investment and guided them through the property buying process. The key from our perspective is to work closely with clients who have a clear idea of their investment criteria and can move and adapt quickly and decisively in a fast moving market.
We are a niche real estate company working exclusively for individual foreign buyers in the Barcelona market.
Who buys in Barcelona?
We started Locabarcelona to service the needs of Barcelona’s biggest foreign buyers…the French!
We can now count buyers from Italy, Great Britain, Russia and China amongst our clientele. Indeed homebuyers have been
attracted by the GoldenVisa program of 2013, which offers residency status to non European Union citizens investing at least
500,000 euros, or about $535,000, in a property.
There are no restrictions on foreign homebuyers in Spain. They must generally obtain an identification number to open a Spanish bank account to complete a property purchase. The process is straight forward and we guide all our clients through it without difficulty.
We always advise hiring a lawyer, though a notary normally completes the transaction and is usually appointed by the seller.
Appointing their own lawyer gives our clients the assurance that they often want when investing significant sums abroad. The legal process is different from other jurisdictions and we recommend Barcelona City based lawyers to our clients whom we know well and who crucially speak fluent English and have acted for our foreign clients previously. The lawyer’s fees are not extortionate and in our experience having legal documents which evidence the deposit monies being paid is often very reassuring to our foreign investors.
Foreign homebuyers can obtain a mortgage from Spanish banks, which typically finance from 30 percent to 70 percent of assessed value. Euro mortgage rates are currently great value and can be as low as 1.8%. It is also worth checking within your own countries mortgage market as for example many mainstream UK banks now routinely offer Spanish mortgages.
We also stress to our clients the huge importance of searching the foreign exchange market before converting their hard earned currency to Euro’s. Whether it is to finance the deposit or as in many cases the entire purchase price (many UK clients have remortgaged their UK home to release equity to fund their Barcelona property for example) always check out the online foreign exchange brokerage market.
Exchange rates and the timing of your currency move can have a dramatic impact upon your finances. We have worked with clients who have funded the furnishing of their new Barcelona appartment purely from gains made on their currency change so it pays to do your research!
Phone 0034 934 67 52 67