Barcelona Property Market and Real Estate Guide

(Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)

Scene of Placa Catalunya, BarcelonaBarcelona is Spain's cosmopolitan Catalonian capital and is an increasingly popular place for foreigners to buy property or rent apartments. With Roman roots, a thriving business sector and a booming night scene, there are many enticing reasons to relocate here.

There is a beaming international spotlight on this city right now, and short-term tourists often become long-term renters and eventually home owners. The city of Barcelona is an especially popular home-away-from-home for northern Europeans.

Studios, flats and penthouses are popular in Barcelona city centre, especially around the Gothic Quarter, where prices are especially high. Larger properties can be located to the north in the likes of Gràcia or in Sants, to the south. Coastal real estate in Sitges and other cosmopolitan beach resorts goes for a premium.

Prices hold due to Barcelona's long-standing success as a provincial capital. The only downside for investors is that prices are relatively high, and there is limited opportunity to generate a fast turnaround.

Renting Serviced Apartments

Renting a serviced apartment in Barcelona is a convenient way to get a feel for the community where you intend to buy property. These spacious apartments are fully furnished and offer savings of up to 30 percent over traditional hotels for guests who stay a few weeks or longer. Short-term and nightly rentals are on par with hotel rates. Renters may be expected to place a security deposit.

Of course, prices are higher than traditional furnished and unfurnished apartments. The difference is that renters receive a level of service comparable to what is offered in hotels. They also enjoy access to a full kitchen and hotel-like facilities. These units advertise in the same places as hotels.

Further picture of Placa Catalunya, Barcelona

Buying Apartments and Houses

There is a hefty premium attached to living in the city centre, where the most majestic sites and the best shopping, dining and partying scenes are located. Flats and rental homes in this area cost many times more than those in outlying commuter suburbs of Barcelona.

When shopping for an apartment or a house in Barcelona, try to view as many properties in your price range as possible. When you've decided on a unit, you will have to lay down a five percent deposit, and the current owner will hold the property for three months while you apply for a mortgage. Real estate agents typically charge five percent of the sale price, but this figure rises to ten percent or more when considering taxes and transfer fees.

Real Estate Agents

It is important to choose a real estate agent who speaks English and Spanish, so that you will know you are well represented. Real estate laws allow foreign nationals to buy property in Barcelona, but tax brackets favour Spanish citizens. Some agencies may recommend putting the name of a Spanish citizen on the contract. This is common practice, but has its own risks. Be sure to consult an independent lawyer first.

Check out the following Barcelona real estate agents:

SEP Finques
Address: Calle Aribau 15, 5o 1a, Barcelona, 08011, Spain
Tel: +34 931 174 004
SEP Finques is well-versed in the bureaucracy facing foreigners looking to buy property in Catalonia. It offers convenient consultations and an extensive portfolio.

Lucas Fox
Address: Ronda Sant Pere 27, 1, 3, Barcelona, 08010, Spain
Tel: +34 933 562 989
Lucas Fox is a real estate agency based in Barcelona. It specialises in connecting expatriates and investors with property in Catalonia.

John Taylor Luxury Real Estate
Address: Avenida Diagonal 433, 3° 2a, Barcelona, 08036, Spain
Tel: +34 972 307 827
John Taylor Real Estate Agency has dealt in luxury properties since the 19th century. Its office in Barcelona specialises in luxury flats and exclusive residential properties.