Barcelona is arguably the crowning jewel in Spain’s city crown thanks to its wonderful beach and mountain location, beautiful, artistic architecture, fascinating cultural history, mouth-watering Catalan gastronomic scene, high levels of education and employment and overall fantastic quality of life. It is the centre of a 2,500 sq km metropolitan area with around five million inhabitants, 17% of which are foreign, a testament to the city’s cosmopolitan and diverse nature.
Barcelona’s Mediterranean city model helps develop sustainable mobility and the city ranks highly in prestigious indexes for forward-thinking initiatives as well as quality of life. Key factors such as public space, security and public transport have been part of more recent developments. It’s unsurprising that it’s a magnet for talent with approximately 1.6 million jobs, 54% of which are knowledge-intensive roles. It’s also the fifth top region in Europe for tech industry jobs and the seventh for science and technology. In the last three years, more than 25 technology centres were set up in Barcelona including big names such as Cisco, Facebook, Nestlé, Allianz, and Amazon.
When it comes to cost of living plus office and residential real estate prices, Barcelona is highly competitive compared to other top European cities and offers good value for money. Modern residential developments are popping up throughout the area, see page 3 to learn more about Antares, a great example of a prime development that is perfectly in tune with its surroundings.
An incredibly accessible and globally well-connected city, Barcelona’s airport, with the highest growth rate in Europe, also ranks as the seventh busiest airport in Europe, with 32 intercontinental destinations. Barcelona’s port is the main port in Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, and the fourth most important port in the world for cruise ship arrivals and departures.
"Barcelona’s Mediterranean city model helps develop sustainable mobility and the city ranks highly in prestigious indexes for its forward-thinking initiatives"
Neighbourhoods to watch
Sant Antoni is one of the hottest areas in Barcelona, filled with cafés, art galleries, and quirky restaurants. It benefits from a great location within the city, right next to many of the key cultural hotspots. Getting around is easy, with plenty of public transport options, taxis readily available, and the international airport within easy reach.
Located at the mouth of the River Besòs on Barcelona’s north-east coast, the area forms a key part of the city’s future Urban Plan. This will see the seafront from the Forùm to Badalona revitalised on the back of the Marina Port Forùm project and the Tres Xemeneies (Three Chimneys) cultural project, creating a new neighbourhood within ten minutes of the city centre.
What’s driving demand
23 Universities / 41 international Schools Public schools are free to expats Private schools are the International Schools and these are offered in a familiar language as well as local language
Reason for buying?
Price per sq m:
Core: €4,100 Prime: €8,000 Super Prime: €15,000+
Did you know
Barcelona's Urban Mobility Plan aims to limit traffic by creating 186km of bicycle lanes and dedicates nearly three-quarters of its land to public use
45% Local 55% International
Reasons to buy
Real estate offers good value for money in Barcelona, in a highly desirable location, with constant demand from both the domestic and international market for good quality residences. Barcelona prides itself on its ability to attract business, with good employment opportunities, foreign investment and talent backed up by the city’s strong international positioning. Barcelona’s role as the Mobile World Capital, hosting the Mobile World Congress and its ambition to be a world leader in technology offers a strategic opportunity for investors looking to tap into the residential rental market for young professionals or those within the corporate relocation sector. In terms of tech entrepreneurship, Barcelona is the third most attractive city to set up a tech business in, and currently stands as Europe’s fifth-largest start-up hub.
As discussed on page 3, Barcelona is fast becoming a pioneer of urban sustainability, with a plan to radically increase green space, pedestrianize large regions of the city, cut carbon emissions up to 45% by 2030 and eventually become carbon neutral by 2050.
Barcelona market in numbers
Whether it is for lifestyle or investment purposes, there can be extra costs that need to be considered in addition to the purchase of the property itself. While the cost of the property is by far the most significant expense, additional costs you may need to cover can include local fees, taxes, running costs and possible charges that will need to be factored in.
The total percentage of purchasers costs involved in buying a property in Barcelona, which includes:
Conveyance Tax (ITP) of 10% on resale apartments and 10% VAT on new build properties. Notary fees from €1000 to €2000 per deed. Registry Fee of €400 to €750 per deed.
Rental yields: Based on gross income. Average rental: Based on prices per month. Prime market: The most desirable and most expensive property in a given location, defined as the top 5% of each market by value. Super prime market: The most desirable and most expensive property in a given location, defined as homes priced at more than US $10 million.
Rental yield: 4.5% Average rental: €14 sq m Expected running costs: €1.5 sq m
Rental yield: 4.0% Expected running costs: €4 sq m Average rental: €25 sq m
Super prime market
Rental yield: 4.0% Expected running costs: €7 sq m Average rental: €40 sq m
What can you get for your money in Barcelona?
Knight Frank has listed all properties within the past 12 months. The price per square meter shown for all sold property is representative of their appraised pricing and not their final sale price.
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Sources: 1. Knight Frank, 2. Knight Frank Research. This city guide is provided for general information only. It is not definitive, nor is it intended to amount to advice on which you should solely rely upon. As far as applicable laws allow, we do not accept responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions, nor for loss or damage that may result directly or indirectly from reliance on or use of its contents.