Why invest in Barcelona?
A Strengthening Economy
Spain’s economic recovery seems set to continue. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by a healthy 2.7% in 2017 according to research by Spanish banking group BBVA, and the unemployment rate is expected to drop to 17.5%. Meanwhile, inflation is slowly increasing in the Eurozone.
Demand for residential property increased by 13.5% in 2016, and it’s forecast to continue growing at around 7% per year (around 490,000 sales). BBVA also reports that low construction activity over the last few years means demand exceeds supply, leading to house prices rising by up to 9% in some regions.
The outlook in Barcelona is equally optimistic. According to the National Institute of Statistics, the volume of property sales increased by 23% in the first quarter of 2017 compared with a year earlier, while property prices increased by 18.5%. Rental yields are among the highest in Spain, ranging from 4-5%.
Qualify for a ‘Golden Visa’
Golden Visa applicant can either acquire a property directly or indirectly through a registered company.
When investing through a registered company, the applicant must hold the majority of voting rights, and the company cannot be located in a country classified as a tax haven by the Bank of Spain.
The Spanish health service is one of the best in the world, guaranteeing universal coverage for its citizens. The government spends around 10% of GDP on healthcare, and Spain is ranked sixth in the EU in number of doctors per capita. The Spanish transport system is also highly regarded, thanks to its international airports, high speed trains and extensive road network. Launched 30 years ago, the Smart City program has turned Barcelona into an innovation hub in areas such as transport, shopping, street lighting and environmental monitoring. As a result, the city is home to a thriving startup scene. Barcelona was also voted the European Capital of Innovation in 2014.
Quality of Life
The European Cities Monitor has named Barcelona the ‘European City with the best quality of life’ for employees for 14 consecutive years. Furthermore, Spain is ranked second in the world in terms of life expectancy according to the WHO, with Spaniards living an average of 83.2 years.
Of course, Barcelona is also famous for its vibrant culture, tourism and lifestyle. The city offers an eclectic mix of sandy beaches and centuries-old architecture. With 7.6 million visitors each year, it’s one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. Barcelona is also accredited as a Biosphere clean city meaning it’s committed to separating waste management, low emission transport, renewable energy and maintaining green spaces and beaches.