Looking back

As in recent years, 2021 has been a year full of scares, but a good year for the real estate market.

We started the year with many restrictions, but we were quickly turning towards optimism as the vaccination progressed; despite that, with all the coronavirus cases we have ended up having, recovery has been much slower than anticipated.

What has been the reality?

The trend of looking for housing with large spaces, garden or terrace has been consolidated. Surely, the majority of homes that meet these conditions are found more in the surroundings than in the city itself.

This trend has favored sales at our offices in Sant Cugat de Vallès and Sant Just Desvern, and on brand new homes that we sell in Badalona, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Cornellà, for example.

Prices have generally remained the same, and only in some developments which more than 80% had already been sold have the price risen slightly, approximately 5-7%. This has been the case in developments in a medium price range.

The trend of few foreign buyers has continued, we are a long way from pre-pandemic numbers. The recovery is much slower than we all expected, and it especially affects homes and projects in the city of Barcelona, some of which are designed for a foreign market.

The difficulty of generating a consistent second-hand offer has also been a trend. If we look at the spectacular growth in trading companies, freelancers, etc. that are dedicated to the real estate market, it is impossible for everyone to survive.

Interest has increased in BUILT TO RENT housing development. We will see, in the coming years, how all this interest ends in a world so in need of a rental offer market.

Finally, a very worrying trend: the slow, but constant, exit of properties that, until now, were in the rental market to move to the sale market. At the same time, the purchase of new construction by small investors to allocate them to be used for rent. These two things cause the opposite of what we need to happen. The number of homes that make up the rental market is decreasing as a result of policies that, in our opinion, are wrong:

  • The lack of investment by the Administration for years and years to generate rental housing.
  • Having taken many years to understand the need for public-private collaboration when we talk about promoting rental housing.
  • The overdose of legislation that we have in relation to the rental world and the legal uncertainty because of that.
  • Having allowed illegal squatting.
  • Permanently question the owner. And in other areas the entrepreneur is questioned. We are tired of explaining, to anyone who wants to listen to us, that 95% of the owners are people who only want to have good tenants who spend time in the house and take care of it. The vast majority have social sensitivity, or are only ours owners, who we know very well, like that? No, that’s not true, that’s how most owners are.

Look ahead

When I wrote the diary at the end of February I had posted that, from our perspective, the trends we see were:

  • Maintenance of demand for new and second-hand construction.
  • Price increase in construction costs due to the higher cost of raw materials and energy, which can be transferred to the final price of homes.
  • A possible rise in mortgage interest.
  • A lack of land as a result of the slowness in all urban issues.
  • An alarming decrease in the number of homes for rent.

Today, with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, it is difficult for us to see the consequences for the European economy, and for ours economy in particular, it may have and the derivatives in each sector.

Our solidarity with the Ukrainian people.