There are few cities in the world that are more popular than Barcelona. Almost every foreign tourist who visits Barcelona has good things to say about the place and the people.
The folks here are a decidedly friendly lot, always willing to help out a tourist who is lost or in some kind of distress. It is a culturally vibrant city, considered to be one of the best places to live in the world.
Yes, there is certainly a risk that there could a lot of confusion going ahead in the real estate market in Barcelona. The regional Catalan government here is headed by Carles Puigdemont, a well known Catalan nationalist who wants the province to be separated from Spain.
President Puigdemont has hinted at a referendum to decide Catalan independence, much like the Scottish referendum that was held in the UK back in 2014. He wrote in an opinion piece in a Spanish newspaper: “The government of Britain and Scotland agreed on a referendum. And everything indicates that Scotland and Britain will once again agree on the celebration of a new referendum on independence.”
This was in reference to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who has demanded a new referendum for Scotland’s independence in 2019. The Catalan leader said, “The scenario of an agreed referendum is what we desire in Catalonia. We would like to recall that we have proposed it on various occasions. Today, despite the bad omens and the outright rejection of the Spanish government, we once again insist on it.”
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, and as you might know, the people here consider themselves to be different from other Spaniards. They have a completely different language – Catalan. The region has 7.5 million people, who created history recently by putting Catalan separatists in power for the very first time.
But Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has completely ruled out any chance of a referendum being allowed in Catalonia. The Spanish Supreme Court has been equally adamant about there not being any sort of referendum.
This has set the stage for a clash of words between Puigdemont and Rajoy, with neither of the two leaders giving an inch. As of now, there is no way to tell which way the Catalans would vote in a referendum, as there seems to be equal support for both sides of the debate.
So what does this mean for you if you have an apartment for sale in Barcelona, Spain? Well, the demand for properties in Barcelona remains very strong, especially from wealthy overseas investors.
However, many real estate developers have been adopting a wait and watch approach to see how the situation develops before going ahead with big projects. Should you worry? No, not really, because the chances of a referendum being held look remote as of now.
While there are certainly some political risks, things are expected to be perfectly civilised around here, no matter what happens. So the disruptions, if any, are unlikely to affect the property market here.