Barcelona lettings market sees rents fall

Rents in Barcelona have fallen and the latest forecast suggests that they are set to fall by around 5% in the third quarter of 2018 to around €17.3 per square meter.

The figures from property portal Idealista show that the fall in rents was most notable in the prime districts such as Eixample where they were down by 9% to €17.7 per square metre, in Gràcia down by 7% to €16.5 per square metre and in Barcelona Old Town down by 3% to €19.1 per square metre.

However, rents are not falling in all parts of Barcelona. For example, the areas of Nou Barris and Horta Guinardó saw rents rise, up 8% and 5% respectively.

There has been a readjustment in rental prices in Barcelona which were beginning to be beyond the reach of many residents, according to Rod Jamieson, managing director of real estate agents Lucas Fox.

‘The cost of living is continues to be lower than that of many other major European cities, not to mention the huge lifestyle benefits, and so Barcelona continues to be a major lure for foreign entrepreneurs and professionals,’ he pointed out.

‘For property investors, the Catalan capital also remains an extremely attractive proposition with rental returns of up to 5% in some prime districts,’ he explained.

Indeed, figures from Lucas Fox shows that its number of rental completions increased by 36% in the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period on 2017 and up 76% in the first nine months of the year.

Idealista figures also show that average rents in Valencia were up by 10% at the end of the third quarter of 2018, at €9 per square metre, compared to the end of the third quarter of 2017. The sought after area of Puerto de Sagunto saw rents rise by 21%, ending the third quarter on €5.6 per square metre.

Lucas Fox launched its lettings business in Madrid at the end of 2017 and there has been high demand from international clients. The average monthly price of a rental home for the first nine months of 2018 was €3,279, significantly higher than that of Barcelona.

Idealista shows an annual increase in average rents in Madrid of 7% at the end of the third quarter of 2018, ending the quarter on €16.4 per square metre.

‘Spain’s top three cities are attracting those keen to get involved in their burgeoning start-up scenes,’ said Shirley Rhodes, Lucas Fox’s head of rentals. She pointed out that Amazon, Facebook and Google all have offices in Barcelona while in Madrid the low cost of living, the quality of life, and institutions like the IE Business School and Google campus, make Madrid a great start-up destination.

She added that Valencia’s low rents for housing and office space has meant it has also become an exciting start-up hub, attracting a large pool of affordable talent thanks to its local business schools.