Insight into the Spanish property market, guides to help you make informed decisions, and a directory of real estate professionals and home service providers from a source you can trust.
This is a website for buyers, owners, and sellers of property in Spain, offering reliable information and resources to help you get things done with confidence. It is run by Mark Stücklin, author of the Spanish Property Doctor Column in The Sunday Times (2005-2008), and the book ‘Need to Know: Buying Property in Spain’ published by Collins.
When you buy or sell property in Spain the sums of money are large, perhaps one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. The high transaction costs you will face like taxes and commissions only make the decision more important to get right. And when you own property in Spain you face a host of extra challenges to manage, and costs to control. Unfortunately, the Spanish property market is opaque and full of pitfalls, and notoriously unprofessional. Buying and selling property in Spain is not a decision to be taken lightly, and you may find it much easier to buy than sell if you don’t take care. In this market it is crucial to do your own research, and don’t rely exclusively on people who are trying to sell you something – let’s just say they might not have your best interests at heart. Spanish Property Insight is the only independent source of information and analysis of the Spanish property market. Don’t even think about buying or selling property in Spain without subscribing to Spanish Property Insight.
The pipeline of new home and renovation projects in Barcelona has dried up in response to a planning change intended to increase the supply of affordable new homes in the city.
Back in July I reported that new build and renovation planning applications in Barcelona province were down 63% in the first quarter, and argued that this was due to a collapse in Barcelona city, driven by a 30% social housing quota imposed by Mayoress Ada Colau on all projects above a certain size. New figures show this argument to be correct.
According to figures quoted in the Spanish press and attributed to Barcelona City Hall there were 64 requests for planning permission for residential projects bigger than 600m2 in the seven months since the quota was introduced in December 2018, compared to 234 requests the same period last year, a decline of 72% in the development activity of new or renovation housing projects in Barcelona city.
Of the 64 projects with more than 600m2, just 19 “might” comply with the quota, according to City Hall officials quoted by the Spanish daily El Pais.
If you assume ten units per project, that’s around 60 homes that “might” be offered as subsidised housing as a result of Colau’s quota. It’s a far cry from the 300 she claimed would be built every year. But the real question is how many new homes in Barcelona have not been started in the same period as a result of this policy? Any policy that reduces the supply of new and renovated homes in Barcelona will put upward pressure on housing costs, assuming demand remains the same or increases.
Just like many other attractive cities in the world today, Barcelona has an affordable housing crisis that calls for thoughtful solutions, though in Barcelona’s case the problem is so structural (high demand, shortage of land) I’m not sure if there is a solution, though taxing the hell out of second homes would be a start.
But economically-illiterate and counter-productive measures like Colau’s social housing quota are the last thing the city needs. Despite her boasts of “changing the paradigm” and blazing a trail for other cities to follow all she has achieved is to restrict the supply of new and renovated homes for sale, putting upward pressure on housing costs for everyone but the lucky few who get to buy one of the subsidised new homes (and there’s plenty of corruption in that story too). I am confident this policy will never come anywhere close to achieving Colau’s claim of producing 300 or more affordable new homes each year, and will not stand the test of time.
Everything you need to know about property in Spain
Login or Register to read articles without any adverts in the text.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.