Now we can see the process of recovery of Spanish economy after the crisis in 2009 when the country’s GDP grew so slowly as never before. The process of recovery started in 2012 and since then it has been showing a good rate each year. If talking about Catalonia, we should mention its GDP is the highest among other parts of the kingdom while the rate of unemployment in Barcelona is almost the lowest in Spain. Last year unemployment level was 3.7% lower than that of the country.
But it is difficult to make any long-term predictions concerning Spanish economy as it is still showing relatively high level of unemployment and low incomes of working people if to compare to other European countries, for instance, in Germany incomes are 86% higher than they are in Spain.
Spanish and Barcelona's property market shows steady increase mainly because of low interest rates which are especially low in Catalonia. Mortgage rates of the European Union depend on EURIBOR, an average rate for interbank credits given in euros. The down-trend have started in summer 2014 and in autumn of that year it had its first negative value while in crisis time it was above four percent.
If you are not a citizen of Spain you can get a mortgage loan at two-and-a-half percent per annum and it will cover up to 60 % of the property you are going to buy. If property for sale, say, in Barcelona is bought by a local, the loan can cover even 80% of its cost and the annual rate will not exceed one-and-a-half percent.
As Barcelona citizens’ incomes are higher than those in the rest of Spain, property for sale in Barcelona (city centre mainly) is more expensive, to be more accurate the price for one square meter was two-and-a-half times higher than last year national average. And keep in mind, the prices are still growing. The growth is rapid, about six percent faster than in 2016. This value is probably the highest in the kingdom. But despite this fact, the prices are lower than those of pre-crisis period, so we can consider some potential for growth.
Last year also showed some increase in Barcelona rental payment which average month value was about 17.9 EUR per m2; and it is 19% higher than that of the pre-crisis period (2007) and 57% higher than that of 2013 when the rental payments showed their minimums.
In 2015 – 2016, Barcelona property prices became 14% higher, while Barcelona rental payments showed 17% increase.
In 2008 – 2012 we saw the situation when the property supplies exceeded the quantity demanded greatly but then the situation changed, and slow growth of demand became a trend. The biggest gap between the amount of transactions with new-builds and the construction volume was shown in 2014 when it reached 111%. But, two years later it was just 1%. But do not worry, this means that first the volume of transactions became 2.1 times higher, and then the construction volume went up 1.9 times.
Now we can observe gradual Barcelona population recovery after its decrease of 2014. Since then the quantity of the city’s citizens became 0.4% bigger and amounted 1,608,000 in 2016, whie the population of the country did not grow since 2012.
If talking about private consumption in Barcelona, we can see its steady growth from 2013. In 2015 the consumption reached the volume of 22.88 billion EUR; the increase shown was 5.4%. The Barcelona City Council reported this figure 14% higher than the national average. The level of unemployment has steadily been falling since 2013 when it reached its maximum (23.7%). Last year this figure was 14.4%.