Current trends in the real estate markets of Madrid, Catalonia and Andalusia
The markets in the main areas of mainland Spain are proving very robust. Property sales have weathered the international uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, inflation, the increase in the cost of construction materials and supply chain problems well. In November 2022, there were 55,132 residential real estate transactions across Spain (latest data available from the INE statistics office). This is 10.8% more than in the same month of 2021, and after declines in the Corona year of 2020, the year-on-year monthly transaction figure has now risen for 21 consecutive months. On average, Spain’s property prices increased by 5 percent.
KENSINGTON is currently focusing on three regions in particular on the Spanish mainland: the Comunidad de Madrid, Catalonia and Andalusia.
Madrid region – High demand drives prices
By far the largest urban real estate market in Spain is Madrid, with around 45,000 transactions last year. Around 3.29 million people live in the capital. The entire region, the Comunidad de Madrid, has more than 6.8 million inhabitants. The metropolis is not only the traditional political centre of Spain, but also the country’s most important business location. Culturally, it has everything – including two of the best soccer teams in the world. Buyers include many foreigners, especially Latin Americans, who invest in the luxury segment. Madrid’s attractiveness is reflected in its high real estate prices: The average price of a property in Madrid in 2022 was 410,100 euros.
The most expensive villas are located on the outskirts of the city, in the residential areas of La Moraleja and La Finca (current prices: around 1.5 to 14 million euros). The top district within the city is the Salamanca, with an average price of 6,633 euros/m2 in December 2022, followed by Chamberí (5,870 euros/m2 ), Chamartín (5,590 euros/m2), Centro (5,205 euros/m2) and Retiro (5,017 euros/m2). Apartments in these prime locations are usually priced between 400,000 and 4 million euros, although absolute trophy penthouses can reach prices of over 20,000 euros per square metre. The highest prices are found in the Castellana and Recoletos barrios (Salamanca) and in the area around the Prado (Jerónimos in the Retiro district).
High demand is driving prices up. In December 2022, asking prices for existing properties in Madrid recorded a year-on-year increase of 6.5 percent. New-build properties became 4 percent more expensive in the second half of 2022. Rents went up by as much as 11.2 percent in 12 months and now average at 16.2 euros/m2/month. Due to the high prices in the city, the surrounding area is becoming more sought-after. Here, average sales prices are slightly lower, such as Las Rozas (3,064 euros/m2), Majadahonda (3,504 euros/m2), San Lorenzo de el Escorial (2,152 euros/m2). Average prices just below 2,000 euros/m2 can be found in Collado Villalba, Guadarrama and Collado Mediano, for example. In principle, demand in the Madrid area remains higher than supply, so there is no sign of a trend reversal. The Spanish capital also remains a good location for investment.
Catalonia – Records for Barcelona’s rental prices
Located in the northeast of the Spanish mainland, the region of Catalonia consists of four provinces: Girona, Barcelona, Tarragona and Lleida. The main attractions for property buyers are the metropolis of Barcelona and the Mediterranean coast.
Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city of millions and the centre of Catalonia’s economy, culture and politics. Including the nearby suburbs, around 3.34 million people live in this metropolitan area. The city itself has a population of around 1,640,000. There are also a large number of tourists. Architecturally, the medieval old town centre and the modernist buildings in the Eixample district are impressive.
The city offers flair and quality of life, a large harbour and a beach. In terms of digitalization, culture and urban infrastructure, Barcelona is one of the top international locations. In terms of real estate prices, they are slightly lower than in Madrid.
While prices had decreased slightly in Barcelona during 2020 and 2021, there was a moderate increase in 2022. There was an increase of 3.5 percent for existing properties. Sales of privately financed residential properties increased by over 12 percent. Rental prices have practically exploded (+ 25.7 percent in 12 months). The average rent of 19.3 euros/m2/month is the highest of all 50 provincial capitals in Spain.
The most expensive areas in Barcelona to buy property are Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Les Corts and Eixample where current average asking prices are between 4,800 and 5,500 euros/m2. Villas in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi are currently available for up to 7.5 million euros. In the residential area of Pedralbes (Les Corts), villas are going for up to 10 million euros. Apartments in Eixample cost up to 6 million euros. The suburb Sant Cugat de Vallès offers upmarket properties. With an average price of 810,000 euros, it is one of the most expensive places in Spain.
A top region for buying real estate in Catalonia is the Costa Brava, the coast of the province of Girona. There are steep cliffs, rocky outcrops, pine forests and small coves and beaches. There are still small seaside resorts where the fishing village idyll has not been completely lost. Vacation properties on the Costa Brava, which are especially in demand from Barcelona and France, cost an average of 2,800 euros/m2 in the southern regions (Blanes, Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar). And on the rest of the coast 2,250 euros/m2. The most expensive villas on the coast are those with special micro-locations – usually with sea views and a picturesque cove. The most expensive area is the coast around the town of Begur (villas up to 8.9 million euros). But there are a number of prime locations on the Costa Brava (average prices 3,500 to 4,000 euros), such as the residential area of S’Agaró in Castell-Platja d’Aro, bays in the town of Palafrugell, the La Fosca/Cala Margarida zone in Palamós, Port Esportiu and Puig Rom in Roses, and El Port de la Selva on the border with the Cap de Creus nature reserve. Even the party town of Lloret de Mar has trophy properties on offer in the Montgoda-Canyelles area that are approaching the nine-million-euro mark.
The coasts of the province of Barcelona, El Mareme (average €2,300/m2) and Costa del Garraf (€4,000/m2 for apartments) tend to be in the primary residence market due to their proximity to the city of Barcelona. The most sought-after locations are Castelldefels and Sitges, with high average prices of €699,000 and €593,000 for properties, respectively.
The Costa Dorada (Tarragona province) offers the most affordable holiday homes in Catalonia with average prices ranging from 1,100 to 2,000 euros/m2 depending on the location. The section between the city of Tarragona and Hospitalet de L’Infant is the most expensive, with Cambrils and Salou (villas up to €4 million) standing out. In 2022, prices rose slightly with sales remaining stable. Spanish buyers are the main purchasers of holiday homes.
Andalusia – Strong Luxury Market
Spain’s southernmost mainland region comprises eight provinces (Almería, Granada, Málaga, Cadiz, Seville, Huelva, Cordoba, Jaén). The absolute hot spot for buying holiday homes in Andalusia is the Costa del Sol (the coast of the province of Málaga and the Sotogrande/San Roque area in Cádiz). This is true both in terms of quantity and quality: in 2022, almost a third of the transactions of privately financed residential property in Andalusian took place in the province of Málaga alone. In the first three quarters of 2022, such transactions in Andalusia reached a value of around 18 billion euros, of which Málaga accounted for almost 8.97 billion, or just under 50 percent.
The cosmopolitan towns of Marbella, Benahavís and Estepona are known as the ‘Golden Triangle’ of the Costa del Sol. Benahavís tops the list of the most expensive places to buy property in Spain, with an average price of 1,868,250 Euros (source: idealista.com). In third place is Marbella (€1,319,871) followed by the posh urbanization of Sotogrande (€961,720).
Luxury property and an excellent infrastructure with over 50 golf courses, marinas, international schools, restaurants and shops are central to the success of the Costa del Sol. About 70 percent of holiday homes are bought by foreigners. Construction remains high. Over 200 major projects are under construction or in the planning stage on the Costa del Sol for the next few years. In 2022, sales increased by 29 percent compared to 2021. A sharp decline in the availability of luxury property is driving up prices in this segment. Overall, asking prices for properties on the Costa del increased by 13.5 percent in December 2022 compared to the same month last year. For villas in the Marbella area, sales over 4 million euros are quite common. There are also some properties that reach over 10 million euros. Villas in the luxury urbanisation of La Zagaleta (Benahavís) are currently fetching up to 29 million euros. As a general rule, the further away from Marbella, the cheaper it gets. The average prices in the following places are: Estepona (563,000 €), Mijas (426,696 €), Benalmádena (393,985), Torremolinos (251,000 €), Málaga City (282,467 €), Torrox (217,573 €).
Andalusia has other Mediterranean coastlines: the markets on the coast of the province of Almería and on the Costa Tropical (province of Granada) have recorded double-digit sales growth in 2022, with prices remaining fairly stable. Spanish and British buyers dominate. Average prices for holiday homes are: €1,400/m2 for apartments from Pulpí to Cuevas del Almanzora, €1,900/m2 for single-family homes from Vera Playa to Carboneras, €1,700/m2 for apartments in Roquetas de Mar. The most expensive area on the Costa de Almería is the beach resort of Mojácar, where detached houses usually cost between 220,000 and 980,000 euros. The Costa Tropical also has a moderate price level (average 1,100 to 1,500 €/m2) and there is little difference in price between primary and secondary residences. The most expensive area is the Las Palomas costal area of Almuñécar, with many villas available for between €750,000 and €1.5 million.
If you buy on the Andalusian Atlantic coast, the Costa de la Luz, you still get the authentic Spain. Even the holiday homes are mostly in Spanish hands. The province of Cadiz tends to have fewer foreigners, while the province of Huelva has the lowest percentage of foreign buyers of all the Andalusian coasts. Cadiz has the slightly higher price level, especially between Tarifa and Conil de la Frontera (average 2,400 €/m2). In Huelva, holiday apartments are cheap: 1,400 €/m2 between Mazagón and 1,700 €/m2 in Isla Cristina and Ayamonte. The average asking price in 2022 is slightly up on the previous year in Cadiz, with + 6.5%, while it remains fairly stable in Huelva.
KENSINGTON’s forecast for 2023: Slight price adjustments can be expected, especially in the first quarter. Price growth could slow down a little in general, and there could even be slight price reductions locally. However, this will mainly affect the lower and middle segments of the property market. As in recent years, the luxury markets will hold up best. This is partly because the Spanish property market remains a safe haven for investments by financially strong buyers. In addition, demand will remain very high, especially in the major cities of Madrid and Barcelona.
Are you interested in selling or buying a property in Barcelona or would you like to receive further information about the service of KENSINGTON Finest Properties International – Barcelona? Then get in touch with us today.
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