We have had GreenDEX in most of the cities where we have real estate for a long time. And this past September it arrived in one of our important cities: Sant Cugat. Now we have almost 100% of our properties covered by GreenDEX. However, maybe we [...]
A few days ago, Time Out Barcelona magazine did a poll to find out which are the best neighborhoods in the world based on the opinions of local people and experts from the different Time Out magazines in the world. And this 2020, our [...]
We have already talked about how to increase energy efficiency at home, now we go one step further and focus on how to adapt our parking to be able to have an electric car and be more ecological in our daily live. The thing that can worry us the [...]
Saving is basic in times like the ones we live in. It is not only about personal economy, it’s in general about the planet’s resources. The trend is towards sustainability and is only achieved with small actions. One of the spaces in which [...]
We have had GreenDEX in most of the cities where we have real estate for a long time. And this past September it arrived in one of our important cities: Sant Cugat. Now we have almost 100% of our properties covered by GreenDEX. However, maybe we should clarify some concepts that are still not completely clear to us.
What is GreenDEX, how is it calculated and what is it for?
To answer all these questions, we have contacted the GreenDEX’s creators, the catalan company StarLab, and they have explained to us through a video the doubts and how they created the index.
StarLab gave us the opportunity to measure, with the index, the quality and quantity of vegetation around the buildings. This way we can add more value to the homes we have and, thus, our clients can value the quality of life that can have in each property related to the surroundings.
As explained in the video, GreenDEX is calculated with a ratio of 100 meters around the house using high-resolution satellite images, measuring the green roof and the types of vegetation, and integrating everything in the index maps. In addition, it is updated in real time in case there may be changes. Nevertheless, the thing does not stop here, looking at the future, StarLab is working to assess the quality of the air and traffic around each property.
The symbols we use to mark GreenDEX rating scale are the numbers from 1 to 5, with 1 being the maximum for vegetation and 5 being the lowest value.
Moreover, the best way to see the vegetation index in each city is through the GreenMap that you can find next to the descriptions of each property in our web site, focusing on the town area where you are.
Thanks to the application of GreenDEX technology and the information it provides us, 1 year ago we received the Most Innovative Marketing Technique award by Luxury Real Estate from the United States and where businessmen from the sector from more than 70 countries meet.
A few days ago, Time Out Barcelona magazine did a poll to find out which are the best neighborhoods in the world based on the opinions of local people and experts from the different Time Out magazines in the world. And this 2020, our neighborhoods have acquired a new dimension due to the lockdown that many cities have suffered, a fact that has forced people to live closer to their neighbors.
There are neighborhoods and shops that during this time have reinvented themselves, and this has made many people rediscover the neighborhood where they live and their neighbors, increasing their satisfaction. After this and compiling the information from the poll, the neighborhood that has turned out to be at the top of the list has been the Eixample Esquerra of Barcelona. It became a neighborhood with a lot of positive energy through its balconies, organizing events between neighbors, support networks were created, some shops and restaurants offered discounts. All these things to have a better lockdown in the neighborhood.
Now if someone, after knowing all this, has in mind to live there, we want to show you some apartments that we have in the area with this wonderful environment.
It is a second-hand apartment of 135sqm, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a terrace located in a stately building from 1906. They have renovated it and have rehabilitated some original elements while introducing modern materials of the highest quality.
This 275sqm duplex penthouse with 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms has a spectacular terrace on the top floor with magnificent views of the city. In addition, throughout the house there are large windows that give a lot of light. It is located in a building that was built in 1990 and has a concierge service and parking.
Holidays are over and “as the world does not stop… we keep going!”
We are surrounded by uncertainties, concerns, fears… but at the same time we are providing the best possible service at all times, we want to keep growing, we bet on the future, we are full of enthusiasm, new ideas and illusions, we keep working with a great team of more than 80 professionals.
We still thinking and working for a Barcelona and its surroundings, which are very beautiful despite the fact that now we are sad by the number of commercial premises, closed hotels, etc. How many businesses and, above all, how many jobs lost. This is the most worrying thing!
We believe that it is time to make a great effort for the people, obviously, but combine it with a great effort for the City: to turn it beautiful, clean, safe, attractive, friendly, easy… We have the feeling that now we see a decaying city, dirty, with daily graffiti, more neglect, more occupation, and this cannot be. The crisis is of such a dimension, it has affected so many countries, all the cities will fight to be the first one to recover, and in this fight, we cannot be left behind, we are gambling too much! We will see the vision and commitment of the government and the different administrations.
In addition, as we have to keep going, we can explain to you how we have seen the real estate market in these last two months, July and August, from our experience:
- 19 new-build homes have been deeded, sold on plan a time ago, and we have only had 2 resignations: one from a client related to the restaurant sector and the other due to a serious illness.
- There have been 26 sales of new construction, a 12% higher in relation to the previous year. However, if we calculate it from January to August of this year, a 38% less has been done in global operations.
- In the case of the second hand and luxury, the numbers of operations have increased due to the fact that immediately after finish the lockdown the demand for houses outside Barcelona and for houses with terraces grew.
- Until today, it is not being more difficult to get a mortgage.
It is the same that happen in the case of commercialization-sale, in the two months of July and August there have been 12% more operations than the same period of the previous year, but in since January there is 5% less that the last year.
- We have managed to keep debts very controlled, we have gone from 0.85% that we had until March of this year, to 1.63% that we currently have, it is little in relation to the average for the sector, but we have doubled.
- The re-negotiations of the contractual conditions have represented 15% of our portfolio, most of which we are talking about business premises, reaching an agreement in 93% of the cases.
- Voluntary rescission of rental contracts are at the same level as in 2019.
Patrimonial Owners community
- The debt in Communities is, until August 31, 6.4%; it has increased 33% in percentage terms.
- What has increased a lot have been incidents, mostly due to coexistence issues caused by the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 and due to the difficulties of finding experts to solve the most urgent issues during the first moments of lockdown.
- It should be noted that we did 28 online meetings with the communities of owners and all the meetings to follow up. We had been trying this for years and now has been the time.
- In the investment area, we have had a certain stoppage, but none of the operations that were underway have fallen.
- Moreover, in the area of tax and legal consulting, the files have increased. In the case of tax, because the numbers of rents and patrimony have increased, and in the case of legal it’s because, unfortunately, more inheritances have been managed, a direct effect of COVID-19. From here our condolences and accompaniment to all the families who have lost a loved one.
We want to thank the suppliers, collaborators, external professionals and our team that has done everything possible and impossible to continue with the activity.
Finally, what trend will we see in prices? Everyone is asking this question today. Our vision is that prices will remain with some downward repositioning in the cases in which our valuations have been valued below the expectations of the owners. Despite this, we are at uncertain times.
We are aware that difficult times are coming for almost everyone, that in our sector already are and will surely be harder, but we are positive, we believe that the entire society is sufficiently sensitized to make an extra effort to move forward, we will keep going and we will go out!
Amat Immobiliaris President
Last Friday we presented our 2019 Market Report in an online conference, and we take the opportunity to also show our COVID Crisis Management Report. We explain the current numbers because the situation has changed from last year and there was no point in talking only about the 2019 numbers, we know that the current situation worries us. For this reason, we wanted to explain very well how the market is currently.
25 people connected to listen to the data while the Amat Immobiliaris’s Managing Director, Guifré Homedes Amat, was explaining the data and answering questions from journalists.
2019 was a stable year with the same sales as the previous year, and with 500 brand new properties that were delivered late because there were delays with the licenses and also due to changes in the mortgage laws. As for rental contracts, we had an increase of 10% compared to 2018.
Focusing on the 1st term of 2020, before COVID-19, the year started strongly. We had a median of 34 new rental contracts and 26 sales per month, 13% more compared to 2019.
But with the impact of the coronavirus, this dynamic stopped. During the first week of lockdown, contacts fell by 80% and we rescheduled visits thinking that we would be less time at home. Teleworking was not a problem, since after 2 days we were already working 100% from home.
Instead, we moved forward creating a negotiation framework to offer solutions to owners and tenants regarding rents; the owners’ response was very good since “all of them has rowed to help the tenants so they don’t leave,” Homedes confessed. We had a total of 247 requests, 13% of our customers, 9% in homes and 38% in premises. All this process, by the Patrimonial team, was emotionally charged and very intense work. The Administration team has also had to deal with conflicts in common areas such as swimming pools, emergencies or damage caused by the heavy rains of some days. All this has been done through calls, e-mail and we have even introduced video calls with the owners to hold meetings.
These 9 weeks were a time of ‘non-market’, supply, demand and operations were frozen, trying to hold them until we could make visits, since “we can do 80% of the work digitally, but we have to physically finish it with the visits” explained the Managing Director. Despite the moment of ‘no-market’, we were under lockdown at the time of delivering 2 brand new promotions and doing the real estate deeds, in order to do it “very curious situations have been seen”.
With the arrival of the reopening phases, it was when we began to be able to make visits and we had a very high entry of interested people, both for sale and for rent. Of the rental operations that were underway before the lockdown, 25% of them fell, but as a setoff, the rental contracts are closing very quickly.
Many of the new requests that are coming are from people who want to leave the cities and are looking to have terraces, gardens and natural light at home. In addition, with the forced entry of teleworking, we are also verifying that the offices “are a room that had lost interest in the last years but now it are gaining much value,” reasoned the CEO of Amat.
From the start of the reopening until last Friday, June 19, when these data were presented, we have made 17 sales and 36 rental contracts, despite this, Guifré Homedes predicts that “the commercial euphoria that we have now on these weeks will loosen ”, but that the scenario is very different from what happened in 2008.
Regarding second-hand sale prices, at the moment we are not seeing any trend either upward or downward, in the case of rental, it is still early to see it, and in new construction homes “we do not expect them to drop because the sale is very advanced and we understand that the developers will not lower the prices ”. Despite these data, Homedes explained that “if there is no offer it is very difficult for prices to drop, but if the worker’s salary goes down it is going to be very difficult for them to pay and then prices will have to be lowered, we lack perspective to see what will happen ”.
The forethought we have for 2020 have changed with respect to what we saw at the end of 2019, and now we foresee that we will sell 40% less and rent 20% less, this decrease will be due to the months of inactivity. Despite these data, each week we have to review the forecasts to adjust them a little better.
In mid-May we published the 2019 Market Report where we explain which were the trends last year.
In general lines, the 1st semester had a rate of sales similar to 2018 and a practically flat evolution of prices. In the case of the rental market, we live with constant legislative changes, a total of 6. Because of this, no offer was generated due to insecurity and in some areas, prices even increased.
In the 2nd semester, the economic and political instabilities affected the sales that suffered for a couple of months. And in the rental market there was more legal stability until the end of December.
It is clear that the market is price sensitive, whether for rent or for sale, and when it is extremely high and this threshold is exceeded the operations stop.
Rent in 2019
Analyzing the rental market in 2019, we closed the year with more contracts than the previous year, exactly 10% more, because new construction projects aimed at the rental market ended. Despite these projects, the offer on the rental market is lower than the demand and this causes remain high prices, reaching an average of 1,200€ per month.
This high demand also meant that 63% of the apartments that went to the market took less than 2 months to rent, making only 9% of the cases spend more than 3 months. Much of this 9% was because owners tried to rent at 10% above market price and it cause them to take longer to find a renter. Therefore, it is demonstrated that in these cases trying to rent above the price penalizes the profitability of the house because it is empty and without income more time.
43% of the renters took a 3-bedroom flat, even though they were more who wanted 3 bedrooms, but due to the high price they ended up with 2-bedroom flat. The profile of the renters were young people, a 41% is younger than 40 years and already a 39% goes from 40 to 50. With this information from last year, we have seen that as the client’s age increases, the rental option decreases.
Sale in 2019
If we focus on the sales, in 2019, there was a 12% drop compared to 2018, especially in the months of October and November due to economic uncertainty and political troubles, causing a price drop for the first time in recent 4 years. A 54% of the second-hand flats sold were priced between 300.000€ and 450.00€, increasing compared to the previous year, which were 24%.
The case of new construction is always linked to promotions that come onto the market, and in recent years the offer has been very stable, especially in Sant Just, L’Hospitalet i Sant Cugat. Prices are related to the purchasing power of the buyers and there is not much option for promoters to raise prices. Sales were high maintaining rates of 7 properties per month, in the case of Sant Just Desvern reaching almost 10 flats per month, despite the drop in sales in the months of October and November it was recovered in December and remain at early 2020.
In high standing households was different, it represents a small number of operations, but significant due to the high price, being a consistent market. In 2019, the trend of the previous year continued, selling plots to build new custom-built single-family houses, being Sant Cugat the town where it happened the most.
In 2019 we keep betting on sustainable homes, encouraging owners to improve and update their properties and buildings in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency. But, as we have already commented, with the constant regulatory changes that took place in 2019, they discouraged the owners investments. Anyway, from Amat we amplify the GreenDEX project expanding the index that measures the amount of green, that we have been using in Barcelona since 2018, to Esplugues and Sant Just; our goal is that it reaches all the locations where we have real estate.
Facing 2020 looked like it was going to be a continuous year despite the uncertainties caused by the trade war between the United States and China, but with the eruption of the coronavirus and the crisis that it has caused it has sunk the market into a deeper hole than we expected and making it impossible to foresee its effects. In any case, we try to approach the future with optimism and with the opinions of the experts, as you can see in the video-interview series that we are publishing named ‘Despres del COVID-19’.