Spain: the remarkable return of a market hard hit by the epidemic

The Spanish property market is usually buoyed by international clients, so hit a rough patch recently, but we can already sense that the situation won't last forever. Travel restrictions have led to an unprecedented fall in tourist numbers since spring 2020, but Europeans are now looking to visit countries and cities they can get to by car or train. Three good examples are Barcelona, Marbella and Madrid.

Let's start with a quick look at Barcelona, a city that has been welcoming and supporting tech start-ups and entrepreneurs for over ten years now. The health crisis led to a fall in the number of transactions, particularly for flawed or over-priced properties. “So there should be some great opportunities in 2021, with sellers ready to accept big discounts of up to 20%," says Emmanuel Virgoulay, Director of BARNES Barcelona.

As we arrive in spring 2021, buyers are showing renewed interest in the Catalonian capital, even from a distance. Buyers are mainly locals for anything priced under €1 million, but for properties over €2.5 million, they are exclusively from overseas, whether for primary and secondary residences or properties to rent out. For over €5 million, we are looking at the ultra-luxury market in Barcelona, a segment hard hit by the pandemic. But there are some incredibly attractive listings, such as the Nao, one of Barcelona's most spectacular properties, on sale at €15.9 million with BARNES Barcelona:

Marbella: unmissable opportunities

Marbella needs no introduction, the beautiful Andalusian city that combines an authentic feel and glamour with an image as a meeting place for the rich and famous. 95% of buyers are international clients from countries in northern Europe in search of second homes. So demand remains strong in Marbella, with only the difficulty in physically visiting properties having slowed down the number of transactions. But, says Jeremy Lauwers, Director of BARNES Marbella, “even though some vendors need cash and are ready to lower asking prices by 15 to 20%, and even by as much as 35% in some cases, most owners in Marbella do not need to sell for the time being, so overall prices have remained stable. And we are receiving a lot of seasonal rental requests from tourists looking for an isolated spot for a family holiday.”

So what about the very high-end segment? We’ll answer that in the form of this staggering villa listed for sale by BARNES Marbella at €3.6M:

Madrid: price rises on the horizon

The Spanish capital has a well-established reputation, ranking 16th in the index of the top cities for the very wealthy international clients (BARNES Global Property Handbook 2021). It attracts a clientèle from all over the world, and especially from Latin America. Visitors are drawn by the city's culture, festive spirit and impressive architecture. “Local buyers with a budget in the region of €500,000 had a monopoly on the market in 2020 because of the health crisis. They accounted for 80% of transactions. But they are now set to be now replaced by international buyers with more money to spend,” says Eduardo Crisenti, Director of BARNES Madrid. “The return of overseas investors to the Madrid market should lead to a 3% price rise by the end of 2021.”

Madrid could well experience a new lease of life over the next few years, thanks to lower property prices than other European capitals. €1 million will buy you can buy a 1,720 sq ft apartment in a highly sought-after district. And, it must be said, a quality of life that is the envy of many of its rivals!

And for €4,775,000, BARNES Madrid is presenting this fabulous three-level apartment spanning 4,467 sq ft and affording a panoramic view over the entire city from its rooftop. Tempted?

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