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How to buy property in Barcelona: a guide for foreigners 

Barcelona Real Estate

Barcelona sounds like a dream city with a laid-back Middeterenian lifestyle, world-famous nightlife, splendid architecture, exquisite food, and sun-loved beaches. It’s clear as day why someone would give up on the urge to research Barcelona homes for sale. Whether you’re a real estate investor, an ex-pact, or a family seeking a vacation home, we got you covered. With this guide, you’ll find out if foreigners can own a home in Barcelona by answering the most common questions. 

Why buy a house specifically in Barcelona?

Spain is a big welcoming country with beautiful sights, nature and colorful cities. Many foreigners favor the Spanish coast to spend their vacation and invest in vacation houses there. The places like Malaga, Valencia, Alicanto, or San-Sebastian are top-rated resorts where you can experience the Spanish slow-living lifestyle. Yet, if you’re drawn to adventures and need that dynamic Spanish energy, you should check Catalonia property for sale. Barcelona is European heaven for entrepreneurs and young IT professionals. Low cost of living, energizing temp of life, stunning beaches, rich culture, and many opportunities put Barcelona on the map for ex-pats. Yet, the Gaudie architecture and world-famous parties yearly bring millions of tourists. 

Barcelona and its outskirts are the hottest markets in Spain, whether you’re looking to invest in a short- or long-term rental, relocate to Barcelona for work, or get a little vacation place here. 

Is the real estate market stable in Barcelona?

Like the rest of the world, Barcelona suffered a severe blow from Covid-19’s impact on the economy. The tourist crisis followed Barcelona till the summer of 2022 and caused a significant price drop.  However, the market is getting back on track this season, leaving less opportunity for buyers to snatch a bargain in the old town. The buyer’s competition sky-rocked through the roof in 2022, so make sure you have your finance and requirements set when you’re entering the market, as there would be no time to sleep on it.

Is it possible for foreigners to buy property in Spain? 

Yes, you can feel Spanish hospitality even in the real estate market. However, you’ll need to obtain a  Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) for taxes. The process is time-consuming, so ensure you plan to do it ahead. Another moment to keep in mind is that owning a property in Barcelona doesn’t mean you can live in Spain for an unlimited time. Non-EU residents usually have 90 days per year to travel without a visa, depending on the country of origin. Yet, double-check the information and explore your long-term visa options through an authoritative website. 

Are there any benefits to foreign homeowners in Barcelona?

Spain is part of the Golden Visa for Non-EU investors, which gives you residency and advantages of the EU like free health care and education. Golden Visa is a governmental project to encourage foreigners to invest in real estate or business, giving young entrepreneurs stable soil to grow professionally and economically. Owning a home in Barcelona doesn’t guarantee you a visa, yet it makes the application process easy.

What neighborhood should I choose? 

Barcelona has ten districts that foreign buyers favor when buying property. They vary in price range, atmosphere and lifestyle, yet  Barcelona gives you plenty of choices depending on your need and expectations from a new Spanish home. 

  • Gràcia is one of the hottest markets. It attracts many investors and homebuyers within walking distance to the city center, grand boulevards, stunning architecture, and family-friendly lifestyle. Gràcia is a cultural hub of the city with numerous art galleries, boutiques, and trendy restaurants. 
  • Sant Marti and Sant Andreu are far from touristic areas and full of local residents. Many Spanish people and ex-pats choose those neighborhoods for affordable big apartments and a slow-living lifestyle. 
  • Horta Guinardo is one of the most affordable areas to buy a property and is most popular among students. Probably not the best area to buy a vacation house, yet investors might find the local market quite promising. 
  • Pedralbes and Sarrià/Sant Gervasi are residential areas with top schools and a family-friendly lifestyle. If you dream about a spacious house with a green garden instead of an apartment in a vibrant neighborhood, you will find the best-suited options there. 
  •  Eixample and  Gòtico are two central neighborhoods with many historical monuments, touristic attractions, nightlife, and streets that never sleep. Whether you’re planning to find a vacation home or invest in short-term rentals for visitors, you should explore your options within those areas.

What are the average prices for property in Barcelona in 2022?

On mainland Spain, Barcelona, Madrid, and San Sebastian are the most expensive real estate markets, even after the drastic consequences of the ongoing global pandemic. The prices for properties in Barcelona start from €3,990 per square meter, forecasted to grow significantly in 2023. The most expensive areas are Sarrià Sant Gervasi with €5,241/sqm and Eixample with €4,500/sqm. For the more affordable options in Horta Guinardo, Sant Marti, and Sant Andreu, expect to pay no more than €4,000 per square meter. 

How do I buy real estate in Barcelona? 

It’s a challenge for foreigners to find the best property without assistance from a local realtor. Another aspect of purchasing property in a foreign country is laws and regulations that you might not be familiar with. The first step for you should be partnering up with a professional real estate company to help you navigate an unfamiliar market. An experienced agent can consult you about best-selling neighborhoods and real estate customs and advocate for your need and requirements while negotiating with a seller. 

The final word 

Barcelona’s real estate market attracts foreigners not only because of the possibility of living in the sunny cultural hub of Europe with endless Spanish drive but of one of the most affordable real estate markets on the Medeterenian cost if we compare to Italy or Portugal. With guidance from the local real estate expert, you can find the best deal to enjoy the colorful city of Barcelona or explore your entrepreneur’s ambitions in the fast-growing environment. 

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