House hunt in Spain: a square donut in Andalusia for $ 750,000



The city of Granada, the cultural center of the autonomous Spanish community of Andalusia with around 240,000 inhabitants, is perhaps best known for its architecture and historical monuments, but for Andalusians it is also the capital of the province of Granada, serving as a center of employment and lifestyle.

The city’s housing stock consists mostly of apartments with an average age of 40 to 50, said Mario López Hiraldo, real estate agent at Century 21 Avanza, based in Granada. The supply of new housing in the city is limited and is expected to remain limited given the scarcity and cost of building land, he said.

House prices are lower on the outskirts of Granada, with their mix of newer apartments and single-family homes. There is also more space for new real estate developments, said López Hiraldo.

The average price of a house per square meter in the city is now 1,586 euros ($ 170 per square foot), he said, citing figures from the Spanish Association of Registrars. It reflects a kind of rebound. Predictions based on the pandemic that buyers would abandon cities in favor of rural properties did not materialize in Granada, López Hiraldo said. Instead, buyers searched for homes with outdoor space, both in and around the city.

“During the pandemic and the lockdown period, when people avoided in-person visits, we switched to virtual tours,” he said. “When things reopened, there were a lot of pent-up requests from people waiting and watching during the lockdown, and that explains why there were so many sales afterwards.”

Across Spain, house prices increased by around 2.4% between the first and second quarters of 2021, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics – the largest quarterly gain since mid-2018. Grenada followed suit. According to Tinsa, one of Spain’s leading property valuation companies, home values ​​in the city rose 4.7% in the first nine months of 2021, reaching 1,607 euros per square meter ($ 173 per foot square), after falling 7.2% between the fall of 2019 and fall 2020. (However, Mr López Hiraldo said, selling prices have fallen by around 3% since January, suggesting a cooling after soaring prices and demand at the end of 2020.)


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