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Spain: BARNES consolidates its presence in the Empordà region.

Investment advice


Established in the region since 2016, BARNES Barcelona y Costa Brava rents and sells luxury properties both on the coast and inland. “The beginning of summer, with the return of tourists, was a godsend for the coastal economy and saw a return to supply-and-demand levels comparable to those of 2019. On the flip side, 2020 and its travel restrictions was a boon for local clients who found themselves back on the buyers’ market” explains Xavier Martin, head of the BARNES Empordà office.

Empordà is one of the most prestigious and sought-after regions in the country, for both Spanish and foreign buyers alike. Whether they’re looking for a sea-view property along the Costa Brava or an inland property, the communes of Calella, Begur, Llafranc, Pals, Peratallada, Monells and Montrás are amongst the most sought-after neighbourhoods in luxury real estate. “The most sought-after properties can be sorted into two categories: 1) houses bigger than 300m² (3,230 sq ft) with a view of the sea, a garden and a pool, and 2) rustic houses with picturesque village charm in Baix Empordà, which afford more privacy and sublime landscapes” says Xavier Martin.

In both cases, although the view is an intangible criterion, it is essential and can push up the sale or rental price of a property by a considerable amount. “You can find properties matching these criteria in the region from €1.5 million, and particularly stunning properties for upwards of €2.5 million. That’s around 30% less expensive than similar properties in France,” he says.

The return of a principally European clientèle looking for all-round service

The health crisis and travel regulations over the past year have caused a slowdown in activity in the region, in particular from foreigners. “The luxury real estate clientèle in these two regions is mainly composed of Spanish, French and Belgian clients, in that order, who represent 80% of buyers overall,” says Xavier Martin.

In response to the problems linked to travel restrictions, BARNES Barcelona y Costa Brava has adapted with the introduction of a unique “property hunter” approach in the region. This service allows buyers to go through all the steps in buying or renting a property without even having visited it, up to the signature at the notary's office. “We work off search mandates, which allow our clients to save valuable time and avoid tedious, unnecessary trips” explains Xavier Martin. Access to the entire market via numerous local collaborators allows BARNES Barcelona y Costa Brava to firstly target interesting properties, separating them from properties which present flaws, and then organise a visit schedule to view the properties matching what the client is looking for.

While Costa Brava is a highly sought-after area on an international level, everything operates on a local level. The BARNES Barcelona and Costa Brava agency has therefore exclusively partnered with a reputed local company, The Circle, to offer maintenance, surveillance and cleaning services for properties throughout the year. “The management of their home while they’re not here is a major worry for buyers of second homes, a concern we’re addressing with this new service,” he adds.