How can Casamona help you invest in Barcelona?
Casamona has been operating in Barcelona for more than 13 years building strong relationships with local contacts and investors. Casamona can help you find buildings and development properties for sale in Barcelona. To invest in Barcelona, please email Tine@casamona.com for more information.
Why Invest in Barcelona?
Read the 2016 interview with Founder and Director of Casamona, Tine Mathiassen on Forbes Business Magazine.
With concerns of Spain’s economy subsiding thanks to the strong pace it demonstrated in the fourth quarter of 2015 despite a rather inconclusive national election, eyes have now turned to the real estate market in the country. Because Spain has been enjoying a robust recovery from its double-dip recession, there is new foreign interest in the real estate market.
There are a number of reasons for the rise in interest in the real estate market, particularly around large cities like Barcelona. One reason is that loan defaults which had a major impact on Spanish banks in recent years dropped in 2015 which signals that consumers are earning more and helping in pushing back concerns about the economy as a whole. The Spanish government 10-Y bonds are now trading around a 1.5% rate, a dramatic decline compared with the 7.2% rate they were traded around the summer of 2012, a strong signal of confidence in the Spanish economy.
The housing index in Spain in the third quarter of 2015 was 1476 €/Sq.m. which was still more than 40% under the all time high set in the first quarter of 2008 which was 2101€/Sq.m. Although the market was dropping in 2013 and 2014, investors such as Azora and Goldman Sachs were keen on the potential it offered in the near future and started to make purchases even in 2013.
According to the CBRE Spain, of the €10.2bn that has been invested in commercial real estate in 2014, half of it came from foreign funds and another €2.5bn came from Scocimis which is real estate investments that can be traded in a similar fashion to share in the financial exchange which also have heavy funding from foreign investors.
Tine Mathiassen, owner of the Casamona Real Estate and a leading real estate broker recently sat down for a Q&A session to provide a better understanding of the market.
Omri Barzilay: How is the general economic climate in Spain these days? Can the young generation buy a home?
Tine Mathiassen: “Our market is mostly driven by foreigners, which is almost 25% of all buyers in Barcelona. Tax regulations support the younger generation because if you are under 32 years old you pay 5% instead of 10%. But, we still have a very high unemployment rate for young people here in Barcelona. We don’t see many young people buying homes.”
Barzilay: What are the hottest neighborhoods right now?
Mathiassen: “Barcelona is changing a lot and has been for the last 5 years. The harbour is now has huge yachts where before it was a harbor for regular people who had sailing boats. They made a new club called “Ocean Club” where only members are welcome and where locals can look at the rich people having parties. This change has caused some tension between the local people and the rich people (including foreigners). But, I think the locals have lost already. The area is changing and foreigners are buying apartments in Barcelona and they will pay 20% to 30% more than a Catalan will pay. Especially Scandinavians tend to pay a higher price as they love the sea and the beach. The luxury yacht owners are also interested in buying here. They want views and they are buying the larger, more expensive apartments. W hotel was opened in this area around 2009 and was bought by Saudis investors. Maybe this is also a reason for why we see many yachts also owned by Saudis? I think this area will change even more a few years to come. Other interesting areas are Eixample, which was an area where mostly local Catalan was buying, but now we see Golden Visa V +0.31% buyers, Italians and other rich foreigners buying large apartments here, too. Here, you get the beautiful Catalan style apartments with mosaic floors and height ceilings.”
OB: How is the demand these days, especially compared with 1-2 years ago?
Mathiassen: ”We have a lot more buyers from UK again. The pound is strong and the British people are buying again. We also see the ”Rich Refugees” coming to Spain. They are from Syrian, Egypt, Turkey … and buying property for more than 500.000 Euros and then they can get a visa to Spain (or Europe). They buy either one large or 2 smaller flats and then they can rent one out and keep the other one. We are also seeing US buyers again. The dollar is strong and Americans are coming to Barcelona. They are often buying “summer” homes by the beach. Last we have a lot of investors. They invested in stocks before, but now they are doing real estate. Barcelona is a pretty safe city and prices are growing again. They buy buildings, renovate them and sell them. Many local Catalan companies are helping with 20% of the costs or the investor is buying and a local builder is doing the renovation. Many larger funds who need places to invest are looking to use their money in this market.
OB: Was 2015 a good year for real estate in Barcelona?
Mathiassen: “Yes! We had the best year in 2015 in 11 years. So with all these new buyers, we have a lot to do!”
OB : What will be the trends for 2016?
Mathiassen: ”For apartments we see people going for the old style again where for just 3-4 years ago most buyers wanted modern apartments. It’s nice to see builders who are buying buildings and renovate them with love and care for the old style. In the past investors were doing cheap renovations and it’s great to notice that this trend is passing by.When it comes to foreign investors I see many Israeli investors coming in. Hopefully they have a better taste than the older investors.
I believe that 2016 will be even better than 2015 as the economy is improving more locals and foreigners will continue to buy.”