Office rental rate increases 42% in Barcelona, compared to one year ago

According to the consultancy firm Jones Lang Lasalle, the office rental rate for second quarter of 2011 in Barcelona has increased 42% compared to the same period in 2010. 74,500 square metres of new office space have been rented out between April and June 2011, 14% more than those registered during the first quarter. The “prime” zone has reached 2005 activity levels.


July 13, 2011 02:53 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The office rental rate in Barcelona is recovering. According to data released by the real estate consulting firm Jones Lang Lasalle, during the second quarter of 2011 (between April and June), the office rental rate increased by 42% compared to the same period in 2010. It also increased 14% compared to the previous quarter (January- March 2011). Between April and June 2011, 74,500 square metres of new office space was hired. Furthermore, the increase is even higher looking at the number of operations, as smaller spaces have been rented. Jones Lang Lasalle forecasts a price stagnation for the end of 2011 and a price increase in early 2012. Most of the operations have looked for places in secondary parts of the city, however Barcelona’s “prime” area around Diagonal Avenue and Passeig de Gràcia has recovered to 2005 levels.

The office rental market continues with its trend towards recovery in Barcelona. During the first six months of 2011, 140,000 square metres have been hired, according to Jones Lang Lasalle. Its forecast is that at the end of the year, 250,000 square metres will have been rented in Barcelona. Between April and June 2011, 162 rental operations have been closed, most of them for small spaces. 67% of the total operations are to rent less than 300 square metres, while only 7% are to hire more than 1,000 square metres.

During the second quarter of 2011, office rental prices dropped by 1.4%. Taking into account the first six months of the year, prices dropped 2.74% in 2011. The Director of Jones Lang Lasalle’s Catalonia office, Jordi Toboso, explained that this trend will continue in the second semester, but will gradually slow down and by the end of the year prices should stabilise and start increasing again in 2012. The reason is simple: demand is increasing while the offer is smaller each time. In fact, no new office spaces have been put on the market during the second half of 2011. However, between 2012 and 2013, it is expected that 62,000 new office square metres will be put onto the market. The availability rate remained for the last 12 months around 13.55%, although it is expected it will decrease due to a reduction of availability.

Barcelona’s “prime” zone, around Diagonal Avenue and Passeig de Gràcia has reached 2005 activity levels. Companies started to move in the last years to secondary parts of the city, such as the 22@ technological district in Poblenou. The owners of “prime” zone buildings decided to renovate the facilities and offer greater flexibility, which now pays back and companies are renting their spaces again. However, secondary districts such as the Europa Square (in L’Hospitalet del Llobregat) or the 22@ neighbourhood concentrated 44% of the operations. These districts are still in their early ages and they are still short of public transport, but many companies have decided to bet on them and want to be present there. The “prime zone” got 18% of the operations, while the rest of the Eixample neighbourhood got 13% and Barcelona’s periphery 25%.