Barcelona Meeting Point 2014 prepares for a ''mass influx'' of international funds ''ready to buy''

The 18th Edition of the Barcelona Meeting Point will take place between 29 October and 2 November in Fira de Barcelona's Montjuic venue. The trade fair is a real estate exhibition that brings together buyers and sellers to network and learn about the latest industry trends. This year there will be 265 participating companies from 23 countries. According to the show’s President, Enric Lacalle, it will be the first edition to open in a recovering housing sector, after 6 years of crisis and setbacks. The real estate market is strengthening; there was a 36.6% increase in the acquisition of houses by foreigners in 2013 and a 12.5% rise in housing sales throughout Spain. In addition, real estate investment in Barcelona is expected to exceed €1.6 billion in 2014, 30% more than last year. In fact, 21 international investment funds will participate in the trade fair. The show will also include a series of talks and presentations, and offer financing options for property purchase.

The entrance of the 2014 Barcelona Meeting Point (by J. Molina)
The entrance of the 2014 Barcelona Meeting Point (by J. Molina) / ACN / Nell English

ACN / Nell English

October 29, 2014 09:25 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- This year´s Barcelona Meeting Point opened this Wednesday and will run until the 2nd of November. The five day real estate trade fair is in its 18th edition, and this year will be the first that takes place in a period of recovery in the housing market, according to the show's President, Enric Lacalle. Alongside the 265 participating companies from 23 countries, there will also be 21 international investment funds participating. Organizers of the show and participating institutions have expressed their confidence that now is the time to buy. Figures show that the property market is improving: there was a 36.6% increase in the purchase of houses by foreigners last year and a 12.5% rise in housing sales throughout Spain. In addition, investment in real estate in Barcelona is expected to exceed €1.6 billion this year, 30% more than last. This year ranks the biggest buyers of Spanish property to be the UK in first place with 15.1% of purchases, followed by France with 9.8% and Russia with 8.6%. Barcelona Meeting Point is also focusing on retail buyers, who can go through a wide offer of newly-built flats and house and financial institutions offer them mortgages with attractive interest rates.

Barcelona Meeting Point 2014 opens to a mood of ''recovery''

The only international and professional real estate trade fair in Spain opened its doors today to a mood of ''recovery'' and optimism. Banks will occupy most of the exhibiting space in the Fira de Barcelona's Montjuic venue. The five day event was opened by the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias; the Catalan Minister of Planning and Sustainability; Santi Vila, and the Spanish Government's Director General for Architecture, Housing and Land, Juan Van-Halen Rodriguez. This year's show will see the participation of 256 companies and the presence of a score of international investment funds, including Cerberus, Deka, Oaktree and Benson Elliot.

''The Spanish property market has begun a period of recovery and is back in fashion''

This was according to Lacalle, who noted the 36% increase in property sales last year, boosting a growth in construction activity in Spain. The mood of optimism was shared by participants and organisers alike, the market is ''clearly recovered'' said Hugo Puglisi, the Director in Catalonia of Banc Sabadell's real estate subsidiary Solvia. Moreover, speeches by Vila and Trias confirmed the current situation to show a time of change for the construction industry and the property market. In addition, Vila specifically stated that ''the worst is over'' for a sector that will surely have emerged from the crisis ''strengthened '' and prepared for the new opportunities ahead. Vila added that an analysis of exhibitors and sector data confirm that ''the mood of the industry has changed.''

''What you can't find in Barcelona Meeting Point doesn't exist''

This was the statement by the President of the real estate show, Enric Lacalle. According to Lacalle, 2014 is the year of recovery of the sector, and he warned buyers that affordable housing is available now but may not be for much longer. ''The Spanish property market has begun a period of recovery and is back in fashion'', with both large companies and through international investment, said Lacalle.  

This year's show will include the new initiative ''Shop in Barcelona. Real Estate'' a new cluster that will connect the Spanish real estate companies with close to one hundred buyers and property agents from traditional European markets, as well as emerging ones such as China and Russia.  

Another novelty of this show is the launch of the 'Barcelona Meeting Funds' which has organised a special programme to amass international investment funds in a space of five hours through the 'Iberian Capital Markets Forum'. This will be a question and answer forum, bringing together experts from Spain and Portugal with 30 international investment funds interested in the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

Buyers will leave ''with the apartment of our life '' and with a ''good deal''

Miquel Àngel Jardí and his wife were up early this morning and were the first in the meeting hall of the exhibition centre. Shortly after the opening time at 10 am, Jardí and his wife were sitting with a sales representative to see if they could get a home in the area of Poble Nou in Barcelona, and were optimistic they would leave the event with ''with the apartment of our life '' and with a ''good deal''.

For buyers without big savings, real estate financing institutions are offering attractive options, such as mortgages with a narrow Euribor margin like that with Basque Kutxabank with a 1.75% interest rate.  

''Similar'' discounts to those offered last year

Event participants including Hugo Puglisi and Nuria García Nogueira, from the commercial department of the company Management and Technical Services (GTS), agreed that discounts on property will be ''similar'' to those offered last year. Puglisi pointed out that while there will be obvious differences with those discounts from six or seven years ago, less so from the last few years as prices have now reached a zone of stability.

While this year's BMP will not offer huge discounts compared to last year, nevertheless most of the exhibitors will maintain the offers in order to participate in the show, and they will be available for a few days after its close. This includes that the discount of 6,000 euros offered by BBVA property, and a special offer of 3,000 euro discount from Servihabitat, for purchases made during the show.

21 international investment funds

Outside of the visitor and private spaces, there are 21 international investment funds participating in the Meeting Point, 8 more than last year. They began their negotiations today regarding purchase contracts, the final details of which will be known at the close on Sunday 2 November.