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On the one hand, there's an economic crisis, on the other, a luxury real estate bubble that is only getting bigger. Rising interest rates have led to a sharp fall in new mortgages and, with that, reduced sales of apartments and business premises. But, at the same time, the luxury real estate market in Barcelona has experienced steady growth in recent months, consolidating the Catalan capital's position as one of the most attractive cities for investors and buyers of high-end properties. It is worth noting the sale, at the beginning of the year, of the penthouse located atop the old Deutsche Bank tower, corner of Passeig de Gràcia and Diagonal, for 40 million euros, the most expensive apartment sold in Barcelona up till now.

This picture of a soaring high-end market is what emerges from the latest study published by SAFTI, the French-based network of real estate advisors. According to Antonio Ortiz, CEO of SAFTI, "Barcelona remains a magnet for international buyers in search of luxury properties. The city offers an attractive lifestyle, with its Mediterranean climate, impressive architecture and a wide cultural offer. Demand for luxury properties remains high, both from local residents and foreign buyers, particularly from countries such as Russia, China and the Gulf countries."

What are the most requested areas?

Thus, the areas most requested by investors for the purchase of luxury properties in Barcelona include the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district, the Eixample neighbourhood and the coastal area of Diagonal Mar. These locations offer a combination of exclusivity, high-quality services, security and panoramic sea or city views, making them highly coveted properties.

Currently, the prices of luxury properties in Barcelona have an upward trend in some select areas and privileged locations, reaching in some cases 6,350 euros per square metre, with such flats include services such as 24-hour concierges, gyms, swimming pools, spas and underground parking, elements highly valued by buyers with high purchasing power.

On the other hand, Barcelona also stands out for its offer of investment opportunities in the luxury property rental market, as it offers a double return: one from rental income and the other from the capital gains on the property. Many investors choose to acquire properties for short-term rental to high-net-worth tourists, taking advantage of the high demand for luxury accommodation in the city. According to Ortiz, buyers are becoming more and more demanding: "Many people are looking for properties with ecological certifications, renewable energy systems and designs that minimize environmental impact."

So, while the majority of the real estate market shows signs of stagnation due to the current environment of interest rate hikes by central banks, the entry into recession of some countries due to the war in Ukraine and Russia, fear of financial collapse after the recent banking crisis in the USA and Europe, none of these economic and social alerts appear to be having any influence on the luxury real estate market in cities like Barcelona, where sales and prices are increasing day by day.