Monday, January 18, 2010

State of real estate in Sant Cugat

Commercial real estate is really hurting. For some reason, Sant Cugat built large numbers of office towers, which are now completely empty (as in you can see right through them). And they are still building more.

The new Mira-sol “market” is starting to look somewhat post-apocalyptic, with the entire commercial ground floor unoccupied. In typical Spanish fashion, graffiti, garbage and broken windows aren’t really helping make it very attractive.

Residential hasn’t drop by price by that much, although it’s generally not selling very quickly. We have a house next door that’s been on sale since we moved here over two years ago. The new developments are selling with all kinds of gimmicks (100% mortgages, rent with option to buy, etc). On a monthly payment basis, the low interest rates make the overpriced places still quite affordable.

At one place the bank will buy it back from you in 5 years (assuming the bank is still around).

Rents have dropped much faster. We recently got our landlord to drop our rent by about 15% (we could have probably gotten more, but we’re pretty bad negotiators).

Sadly enough, our international neighbors have moved back to their home countries for economic reasons. One guy’s job over the last year was to close most of his company’s factories, turn the lights off, and move back to his country.

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