24 Aug, 2014 @ 14:00
1 min read

‘Secondary cities’ number one for home buyers

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IT’S a buyer’s market in recession-stricken Europe – the perfect time to invest in an urban dream house.

Canny investors should look beyond London and Madrid; the real steals are hidden in secondary cities such as Amsterdam, Venice, and Barcelona.

“If there is such a thing as a top secondary city, then Barcelona is it,” says Christian de Meillac, head of Spanish sales for Knight Frank.

Aside from the breathtaking architecture, world-class dining and beautiful beaches, property prices have been falling in the city since 2008.

For €800,000 you can grab a three-bedroom penthouse with a roof terrace by the Gothic Cathedral.

However, prices like these won’t be around long, warns Knight, as growing demand will soon set second-tier prices sky-high.

Tom Powell

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  1. It’s scary what is happening in Barcelona property. As per the New York Times report, the traditional stores are getting evicted and the big multinationals are taking over inflated leases. For example the toy store Palacio del Juguete used to pay €1,000 a month rent, but it’s now being taken over by Geox who will pay €35,000 a month. “http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/world/europe/historic-loss-may-follow-rise-of-rents-in-barcelona.html?_r=0” Now of course this is good for the property owners, and the surge in tourists does bring in a lot of custom, but at what cost? Traditional businesses are getting crowded out, and Barcelona locals are fed up at the loss of their living standards being eroded. As the article states – ‘The removal of traditional stores from the old city center, known as the Gothic Quarter, is “a criminal loss of patrimony in a city that is getting drowned by big money and international brands and is losing all sense of history, order and proper urban planning,” said Josep Maria Roig, the owner of La Colmena, a pastry shop founded in 1872.’ Is there a middle way?

  2. Barcelona is way too built-up; it’s a total mess in places. When I visited earlier this year on business I couldn’t wait to get away from it. I much prefer Amsterdam; proper architecture and culture.

  3. What is scary is that Barcelona is known as the pickpocket capital of the world.

    As for property, with transaction costs of 11% buying and 7% selling, buying in Barcelona is not for the faint hearted, Spain has amongst the highest transaction costs, so don’t expect a quick return on investment.

  4. Once you know where to go for culture, architecture, the buzz.. Barcelona is a fantastic city. Somewhere that gets better and better the more you visit. Crazy property prices definitely.

    If you just barely visit the place, and leave, THEN have a strong negative opinion about it Fred, that just strikes of complete dumbness. What an uncultured fool you are! Get back to Blighty!

  5. It seems there are plenty of foreign buyers interested in Barcelona. Not a place I’d like to live myself, but no doubt with their huge numbers of tourists there are investors searching out opportunities. http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2014/10/21/foreign-buyers-dominate-barcelona-luxury-market/ “In recent years, eastern European, North American and Asian buyers have joined the traditional mix of UK, French, German and Nordic buyers, the agency says. Foreign buyers are attracted to Barcelona for the lifestyle and the low prices, which are typically 25 to 40 percent below peak level, El Economista notes.”

  6. Well said Bryan, the rosies trying to convince others that ‘now is the time to buy’ when it’s not. The individual retrieving such is known for it on other forums under multiple aliases. Buyer Beware.

    It’s an August article written by an estate agent.

  7. Derek, I lived in Barcelona for a few months when I was a student, so it wasn’t a quick visit. It was noisey, dirty, crime-ridden and over-populated, and that hasn’t changed the last time I recently visited. The only buzz I saw was a bluebottle infestation lol.

  8. Perhaps the introduction of electric taxis will help ease the pollution problem in Barcelona (and Madrid)? Worth a try I would have thought? “http://www.torquenews.com/1080/nissan-delivers-first-all-electric-taxis-barcelona-madrid”

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