Where to find a property for sale in Barcelona
The fashionable Catalan capital is a great place to visit but also an exciting prospect for international investors and home hunters. The largest city on the Med is an increasingly attractive home for both businesses and individuals relocating for its lifestyle.
Whilst the 1992 Olympics began the Catalan city’s transformation, property prices fell by 30 percent between 2008 and 2013, but now demand has picked up again, and the domestic market has improved too. Most significantly it is highly affordable when compared to other European cities.
But prime Barcelona property prices have gone up considerably in three years - in the most expensive districts such as the commercial Eixample with its grand listed buildings on wide, tree-lined thoroughfares (where Gaudi designed some of the ornate properties) you’ll pay up to €10,000 per sqm. It includes the city’s top address of Paseo de Gracia where the Saudi royal family is said to have bought a home.
There are also the upmarket suburbs of Pedrables or Sarria where many of the international schools draw wealthy expats to their wide, leafy streets. You can buy a condominium in a glass tower in the Diagonal Mar beach district - although for those who like to near the sea, the old town or Barrio Gotic (or Ciutat Vella) with its narrow medieval streets of townhouses ripe for restoration. You can get small renovated apartments there for €300,000 plus if you are lucky.
There’s also the bohemian district of Gracia. Close to both the iconic Parc Guell (another iconic Gaudi creation) and the designer shops of Paseo de Gracia, Gracia is a quiet but vibrant residential area with organic shops, alternative schools and a good sense of community.
Exciting emerging areas are El Poblenou, Poble Sec Sant Marti and the bohemian Born. Prices there are nearer €5,000 per sqm.
Poble Sec, an extension of the Eixample, is central, close to the green slopes of Montjuic and it’s coming up fast. It’s a great place to find a cocktail bar free from tourists - or a fast-improving foodie scene - the arrival of the Adria brothers from El Bulli and their Tickets tapas bar sits amongst the theatres of Paral-lel. But Bar Canete in nearby Raval is also a must-try (and apparently a favourite of footballer Lionel Messi).
Another increasingly cosmopolitan industrial-residential district is El Poblenou, home to Razzmatazz nightclub and the start-up hub of district 22@. Lots of hip locals are buying there too.
Buyers should take care that you have a tourist licence for your property if you want to rent it out short-term - (including Airbnb) - as the city’s authorities have a moratorium on issuing new ones.
Barcelona is a cosmopolitan and fiercely independent spirited city like nowhere else in Spain and suits those who love the urban buzz, by the sea, along with great food, culture and art. It attracts a young, entrepreneurial demographic, including both locals and foreigners.