An updated two-bedroom apartment in Barcelona
$850,000 (750,000 EUROS)
This two bedroom departmentin Barcelona’s Sant Antoni neighborhood, it has an updated interior lit by multiple outdoor spaces, including a 430-square-foot terrace, a rarity in the city center, with areas dedicated to dining, sunbathing and laundry.
Carlos Cossio, senior consultant at Engel & Völkers, which has the property for sale, highlighted the home’s “majestic, plastered and preserved ceilings,” as well as the way its mix of textures and colors “enhances the original elements of the house.” home and at the same time. At the same time it provides a new design approach.”
The approximately 1,500-square-foot apartment, located on the second floor of a 1900s building, is accessed by elevator. Beyond the lobby, glass doors on the left open to a living room with dull, dusty green walls, ornate plasterwork and two sets of French doors leading to a balcony that extends the length of the room. To the right is a large modern kitchen and dining room with doors to a patio. The kitchen’s original tiles were preserved and rearranged during a complete renovation in 2018 and 2019 that also restored iron radiators and double-glazed windows, and added central air conditioning.
A wide hallway leads to the family rooms of the house. The smaller of the two bedrooms, with a dove gray and bright yellow color palette, accesses the hall bathroom. The largest bedroom, on the right, has abstract geometric wallpaper, a built-in wardrobe along two walls, and an en-suite bathroom with marble tile walls. The bedrooms share the private terrace, which has a shaded area and a barbecue area.
There is also access to the building’s storage room and the community roof terrace.
Sant Antoni, in Barcelona’s Eixample district, is home to the famous Mercat de Sant Antoni, a large covered market in a building from 1882. Plaça Catalunya and Barcelona’s Gothic cathedral are within walking distance, as are two bus stops. metro lines 1 and 2. Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport is about 16 kilometers away.
Barcelona, the coastal capital and largest city in the autonomous community of Catalonia, has not seen house prices and rents grow at the rate they have in other large European cities over the past decade, said Tine Mathiassen, founder and director of Casamona Real Estate. , a Barcelona agency that serves foreign buyers.
Facing a housing shortage, Catalonia’s government enacted a rent control law in 2020 that effectively discouraged investors from buying and prompted homeowners to put their homes up for sale, particularly in the city center, Mathiassen said. . Then the pandemic arrived to hamper tourism, severely shrinking the buyer pool and making it even harder for rental properties to turn a profit.
Conflicting factors have made Barcelona a harder sell for investors than in previous years. “I think it’s hard for sellers to accept that prices have gone down,” Mathiassen said. Meanwhile, potential buyers worry about rent limits: “They’re not willing to pay more for those apartments.”
Maria Larsson, chief executive of Larsson Estate, a Barcelona-based boutique agency, said the city remains “very attractive” to foreign buyers who see real estate as a long-term investment. Spain’s constitutional crisis of 2017 and 2018, in which the governments of Spain and Catalonia fell out over the latter’s push toward independence, deterred foreign buyers more than any other event, she added.
Sales in the province of Barcelona have recovered since the early dark days of the pandemic. The College of Property Registrars of Spain reported an average of 14,450 home sales per quarter in the province during 2021, compared to 11,000 in 2020 and 13,794 in 2019.
However, prices in the city have struggled to keep pace. In mid-2018, resale property sales prices were around $460 per square foot, according to a report from Barcelona’s town halland ended 2021 at $415 per square foot, a drop of about 10 percent.
According to data collected by Idealistica leading online real estate platform in southern Europe, the average price of a home in the province of Barcelona during the third quarter of 2021 was about $280 per square foot, 47 percent higher than the national average in Spain.
Prices in the Ciutat Vella district (the “old city”), including the Barceloneta neighborhood, have fallen by up to 20 percent since the start of the pandemic in areas once favored by tourists, Larsson said.
Larsson and Mathiassen said prices have likely bottomed out. “I don’t see it going any lower,” Mathiassen said.
The luxury market, however, has seen prices rebound by an average of about 7 to 8 percent in the past 12 to 18 months across the city, estimated Mohammad Butt, director of Lucas’ Barcelona office. Fox, an international luxury agency. “We had a very, very strong 2021, not far off our 2019 results, which was actually our record year in company history,” Butt said. “We were surprised at how quickly the market recovered.”
Lucas Fox’s use of virtual property tours has helped sustain remote sales from overseas buyers even during periods of lockdown and restricted travel, he said. The company, specialized in the foreign market, has also sold more homes to locals motivated by the low mortgage rates in Spain.
Term mortgage rates “are so attractive it’s almost like free money,” Butt said. “So I think a lot of people are now willing to get out of the rental market and can see themselves buying a property.”
Who buys in Barcelona
Mathiassen said the pandemic has led more Scandinavian buyers to take advantage of their higher home equity to finance the purchase of vacation homes. These are cash buyers.
He also noted a “slow, slow movement now of Americans,” many of whom want to take advantage of Spain’s Golden Visa program, which offers temporary residency to foreigners who invest 500,000 euros ($565,000) in real estate.
Larsson said most of his buyers come from France, Italy and other European nations, and some from Russia and China. She estimated that foreigners represent less than 15 percent of buyers in Barcelona, although “the proportion is much, much higher” in tourist areas.
These include Ciutat Vella, where “you literally feel like you live in a movie when you look out, it’s absolutely beautiful,” he said, and Eixample, known for its metropolitan lifestyle. Also popular is the neighborhood of Poblenou, on the Mediterranean coast, with terraced houses and converted industrial buildings.
Mr Butt’s agency typically sells to buyers in northern Europe, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He has also begun to see the return of British buyers, who did not need a visa to reside in Spain before the Brexit referendum. “That’s a whole new group of buyers who didn’t need a golden visa four or five years ago, but now they do,” he said.
Foreigners have no restrictions on purchasing real estate in Spain. Buyers pay a 10 percent property transfer tax, plus another 2 percent or so for notary and legal fees. Newly built properties incur an additional 1.5 per cent stamp duty, Butt said. He advises international buyers to hire an English-speaking lawyer who will conduct due diligence and prepare contracts.
Banks require a larger down payment for second homes, regardless of whether the buyer is Spanish or international, Larsson said.
“They treat you exactly the same as a Spanish citizen,” he said. “The only difference is that most of the time, when foreigners buy here, it’s a second home.”
Languages and currency
Catalan Spanish; euro (1 euro = 1.13 dollars)
Taxes and fees
The quarterly condo fee for this property is 217 euros ($245) and the annual property tax is 575 euros ($650), Cossio said.
Carlos Cossío, Engel & Völkers, 011-34-670 261044; engelvoelkers.com