Before the summer holidays, some people started to talk about a beginning of a new crisis in the real estate sector, it was spoken in the media and then they ask us about it… and we don’t get tired of saying ‘NO’, we sell well and in a sustained way.
- If we talk about brand new building work in the surroundings of Barcelona, we are doing well, honestly well, within the foresights and without financing issues.
- If we talk about second-hand homes, the answer is that we also sell it well if the valuation is well done. When the owners pay attention to those bad professionals in the sector who, in order to achieve the commercialization of real estate, made value high, it is not sold, and in that case it is normal.
The next question they usually ask us is if the prices can still grow up because it has not reached the 2008 prices. That question always surprises me because it seems like someone has decided that the 2008 prices are the reference prices.
- We are tired to repeat that the price should be what customers can pay and that it is linked to the salary that they have, which mark the savings they can have and the financing they can afford. We know nowadays the sensitivity over the prices is very large, the market has allowed us in certain promotions increases of 5%, but not of 15-20%.
It is also positive that Barcelona Meeting Point, in spite of the few publicized had this year and after a “busy” Friday in the City of Barcelona, on Saturday many young couples with kids were seen searching information and arranging visits to acquire a new home.
However, it is hard to understand:
- That unemployment has risen in Catalonia during September while companies have serious problems finding worker like accountants, commercials, lawyers… If we talk about construction companies, they are desperate! Neither trowel, installers nor carpenters… It is true that during the long economic crisis, many people came out of the real estate business, but now things are going well and work is stable, there are not new workers. Although salaries are good, it seems that dynamics from past eras are coming back, where the workers leave the job to go to other company for a slightly higher salary!
- That when you are going to change the census at a town hall, despite they having people working for the public and with no one else waiting for a turn, they tell you that without an appointment they cannot attend you and they will make you come back the following week! Or that in order to knock down a storage room, for example, of 3sqm, the hall town ask for an architect to assume the direction (having to prepare a basic demolition project, report, budget, waste issue, safety and health study… the College of Architects still doesn’t believe it!)
Most of these issues are part of the “bureaucratic spider net”. We will have to work to make things easier, promote a spirit of service, or at least, of customer/citizen treatment and recover the sense of proportion.
If you want to read others Diary of Change you can do it here.
Amat Immobiliaris President