Barcelona in North East Spain has become a hot spot for foreign property buyers and investors. Like many Mediterranean cities it attracts a variety of nationalities enamored with the climate, the lifestyle and the fantastic cost of living. Some seek holiday homes, some wish to relocate permanently to Barcelona and others come and make their base in Barcelona due to the large number of companies that use the city as a hub for Southern European and middle eastern operations.
In the last four years we have seen a huge increase in overseas buyers and investors in Barcelona – the natural result of this has been an increase in prices but all is not lost. There are still many properties available to suit many budgets although it is fair to say that the real estate market moves at a fast pace and house hunters looking to buy property in Barcelona should buy something if they like it to avoid disappointment.
However what facets of Barcelona real estate make prospective buyers choose to invest there over other locations?
To assist thos ewho ask this question we have put together our list of excellent reasons to buy property in Barcelona.
1: World Famous Architecture
Barcelona has long been at the forefront of architrectural style and elegance. Home to the famous Gaudi buildings Barcelona has the largest stock of modernist or Art Nouveau buildings in the world. The Eixample, or “Expanse” area of the city is hailed the world over as being both beautiful and practical. Sometimes dubbed the “Superblocks” the Eixample offers tree lined streets with large and deep buildings with traditional high ceilings and mosaic stone floors. The use of space is wonderful.
Outside of the Eixample district we have the incredible old city, or “Cuitat vella” with its narrow winding streets and charming shop fronts and buildings, some dating back to medieval times.
In recent years there has been a tremendously popular tendency of taking an old classic building in Barcelona and refurbishing it to the highest and most modern standards while conservingn its charm and original features. Urbane has one of the most complete and up to date stock of refurbished Barcelona apartments for sale.
2: Excellent Transport Network and Communications
Most buyers want easy access not only to the city where they buy but also to the areas around. Barcelona has a busy international airport called El Prat which serves most European cities with more than one flight a day – London for example has more than ten a day! There are direct flights to and from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dubai and many many more locations worldwise.
However once in Barcelona you can also drive to Andorra for skiing, be in France in less than two hours for wondeful French food and ambience or why not take one of Europe’s fastest rail networks and be in Madrid in less than three hours. The AVE (Alta Velocidad de España) is a fantastic train and the central government are soon to launch a more cost effective version.
There are a number of coastal resorts around the city of Barcelona, such as Sitges, Tarragona, Costa Brava and if you really want to relax and let your hair down why not take a 25 minute flight to Ibiza?
3: Barcelona Restaurants, Nightlife and Pleasure Vibes
Barcelona has a well deserved worldwide reputation for high quality restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Whatever the taste and whatever the budget, Barcelona for sure has something fro everyone. The city has seen a recent increase in the opening of top flight restaurants with the famous Ferrá brothers opening 6 restaurants in quick succession. Albert Ferrá is famous for being the owner of the world class El Bulli restaurant.
There is also an abundance of laid back cafes and restaurants perhaps as a result of the large number of software and tech companies that have made Barcelona their European base. This combines beautifully with the Barcelona talent for decoration and design to produce some of the most stunning bars and clubs in the world.
There is also a world class marina in Port Vell with some of the world’s largest yachts calling in for prolonged stays. However there is also room for all kinds of boats and tastes. These port facilities attract sailors and yachting enthusiasts from around the world. Anyone who does not like to get their feet wet will still find plenty of things to do from art and photography courses to exploring historical sites and natural landmarks.
Other world famous landmarks include the Sagrada Familia cathedral, the fun fair at Tibidabo and the conference and concert facilities in the Mont Juic Palace park.
4. Barcelona Football Club
Some might say that this point belongs to the Pleasure Vibes part of the list but others assure us that Barcelona FC is a stand alone reason to buy property in Barcelona. Obviosuly there is little to say other than “Barsa!!!!”
On a serious note, many of our customers have purchased a property purely to have a base to use to see Barcelona FC play.
5: Business Innovation and Start Up Hub
Apart from the biggest mobile event of the world, the World Mobile Congress, Barcelona is known as a hub for business start ups and innovation on a truly global scale.
Currently 5th in the EU ranking of start up cities, after London, Paris, Berlin and Amst
erdam, Barcelona ranks consistently in the top 30 cities in the world for business start up and new business investment. The impact of this on the property market is evident at all levels:
a) Rental properties are in huge demand with a 20% increase year on year on rental prices.
b) Demand for modern, well located investment properties has grown tremendously with the knock on effect of a 21% growth in property prices in central Barcelona in the last 18 months alone.
There are many companies who have their southern European base here and others who are originally from Barcelona! eDreams, Privalia and of course La Caixa bank. The flow of international capital in the form of start up companies and existing companies lead to an influx of highly qualified and well paid professionals moving to the city. The knock on effect has led to new bars, restaurants and of course an increase in the demand for quality housing, both for rental property in Barcelona and property for sale in Barcelona.
6: Golden Visa and European Union Residence Potential
In November 2014 the Spanish government introduced a scheme known as the “Entrepreneur Law” which essentially provides access to residence visas for people who invest in property in Spain. Barcelona has become the single most popular destination for Golden Visa investment in all of Spain. For investments of 500,000 Euros or more the Spanish authorities will facilitate residence visas for the people making the investment. You can read more on the Golden Visa opportunity in one of our previous posts.
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