A Barcelona property expert has confirmed recent reports that Barcelona’s property market has firmly bounced back from the crisis surrounding the push for Catalan independence in October 2017.
José Caireta, co-founder and managing director at Squircle Capital, the firm responsible for the first super-prime property in Barcelona, Francesc Macià 10, said: “The Spanish real estate market has definitely bounced back from the crisis but political uncertainty in Catalonia has reshaped the profile of investors. Foreign private buyers still think twice before acquiring a luxury property in the region and local UHNWI (ultra-high net-worth individuals) and foreign businessmen with local roots are now mainly responsible for the acquisitions.”
He said they are also being encouraged to purchase properties due to the fact that super-prime developments are quite new in Barcelona and they satisfy a demand for properties with amenities, security and services similar to those of other big cities such as New York or London.
"In the case of Francesc Macià 10, the first super-prime development in Barcelona, local buyers showed interest from the very beginning and they have acquired all the apartments sold so far despite the fact that we received enquiries from investors all across Europe,” Caireta added. “As mentioned before, the political scenario in Catalonia at the end of 2017 and the growing local interest for luxury developments would explain this outcome.”
Caireta added that purchasing patterns have also evolved, with Barcelona city centre fast becoming a hot location for UHNWI, who used to prefer single-family homes in neighbourhoods such as Pedralbes.
“Over the last 5 years, most of the super-prime developments have been built near Passeig de Gracia and Diagonal, the streets with the greatest commercial offer. Francesc Macià 10 and Mandarin Oriental Residences are the most prominent examples of this new trend,” he continued.
“With regards to prices, after four years of sharp price increases, they are still on the rise, especially in Madrid and Catalonia. However, the increase in Barcelona could have been higher if the political unrest had never happened.”
Elsewhere, OneOcean Port Vell – based in Barcelona and described as a world-class marina and home port for superyachts in the Mediterranean – has claimed that the Med is rising in popularity as the destination for the world’s superyacht fleet. Recent statistics published in the Knight Frank 2019 Wealth Report showed that 75% of the superyacht fleet is situated in the Mediterranean during the summer months and, more specifically, 47% of this fleet are voyaging in the Western Mediterranean.
In addition, the Mediterranean now is the dominant region for superyacht home berths, with one country in particular – Spain - taking the lead. According to a recent study published by Bloomberg, Spain has the largest superyacht fleet in Europe totalling 133, with the once-popular superyachting hubs of St Tropez and Monaco steadily falling down the leader-board.
This is thought to be linked to the exorbitant costs of marine diesel following the enforcement of EU regulations. OneOcean Port Vell, meanwhile, insists its lower taxation costs, competitive pricing, shorter waiting lists and ‘incredible array of amenities’ is helping to attract an international clientele, often looking for investment opportunities.
"The luxury of Barcelona comes from the city's wealth of lifestyle offerings," Ignacio Erroz, general manager at OneOcean Port Vell, commented.
"It's a city that is extremely well-connected, with exceptional international business schools, iconic architecture and worldwide recognised gastronomy with up to 30 Michelin Star starred restaurants. Together, this creates a quality of life that attracts an international audience of UHNWIs, putting it up amongst other global players."
When asked why UHNWIs are currently looking at buying berths in Barcelona, Erroz added: "Barcelona is an attractive place to invest in Europe. Last year, Barcelona recorded the highest house price growth in the world, demonstrating the city's increasing appeal and the investment opportunities available."
"As the only port in the Mediterranean located in a city centre location, OneOcean Port Vell offers an investment opportunity for UHNWIs. The strategic location of the port, set between the cruising grounds of the Western Mediterranean and the Caribbean, combined with its world-class services and facilities, makes it an extremely attractive homeport for Owners, Captains and Crew," Erroz concluded.