2017 A TURNING POINT FOR SPANISH PROPERTY MARKET

04.01.17

After property prices bottomed out midway through 2014, 2015 saw modest price rises in prime Spanish regions. The recovery phase has continued throughout 2016, with the main difference being that price increases have not been limited to Barcelona, Madrid and desirable second home destinations. A growing economy, low financing costs, good potential for rental returns and capital appreciation is likely to continue to drive sales throughout 2017 and beyond.

Brexit has had a noticeable effect on sales of Spanish property by British buyers in the second half of 2016, due to the depreciation of the pound. Across Spain as a whole, however, Brits still dominate foreign sales with nearly a fifth of the market share, more than double that of French buyers.

Diminishing demand for high end homes in London following Brexit could also see non-EU citizens look to Madrid or Barcelona in the forthcoming months. Industry findings also indicate that demand for Spanish property from other foreign buyers - including from the States and Middle East - will continue its upward trend throughout 2017.

New low cost flights from British Airways and Norwegian Airlines from the US to Barcelona during 2017, is a reflection of the growing attraction of cities like Barcelona for Americans, as both a tourist and second home destination.

Barcelona
The Barcelona property market continues to attract investors from all over the world, thanks to its exceptional lifestyle and investment potential. Prices in the city centre are set to continue to increase, some areas into double digits. Other larger projects that should come to market in the first half of 2017 are located in Eixample, Diagonal Mar and Poble Nou areas. Theses are prime rental investments and will also attract non-European buyers looking to take advantage of the Golden Visa residency scheme as well as lifestyle investors. A further prediction is that sales of these developments will make up a high proportion of the mid-market transactions carried out by foreign buyers. Further growth in the national market, more specifically in the desirable Zona Alta district, as the economy recuperates and financing becomes more accessible is also expected. Industry pundits highlight Barcelona, along with Madrid and Valencia as the investment hotspots for years to come with capital gains growth expected to be consistent throughout.

Madrid
Madrid remains an affordable European capital, easily accessible nationally and internationally that satisfies the investment needs of most potential property buyers whatever their motivation. As time moves on, increasing numbers of nationalities are discovering this exceptional city and want to be part of its growth. In 2017, increased demand from Latin America, the US, Northern European countries, the Middle East and Asia is expected. As Spain's economy recuperates further, national market transactions will also increase for both investment and 'pied-à-terre' purposes. Based on the current pipeline of New Development/rehabilitation projects in Madrid, there is reason to be optimistic with expectations of a higher volume of real estate transactions purely for investment reasons and for buyers wanting to take advantage of the Golden Visa residency scheme. In terms of prices  - these are expected to continue to increase at a steady rate, which are still between 20-30% lower than the peak of 2008.

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