Where to live if I leave Barcelona?
Barcelona tops the list of Catalan towns with the highest prices for renting and buying a home. This fact, together with the change in habits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a slight migratory movement from Barcelona to the other 35 municipalities that make up the Barcelona Metropolitan Area.
The crisis due to the health emergency has led many people living in Barcelona to look for housing, often in the same metropolitan area, where they can have more living space. The housing demand after the pandemic has changed, as the Barcelona City Hall details, and the number of homes with larger, open spaces, and without the pressures of urban centres has increased. Preferences have been geared towards middle-size municipalities, quieter and relatively close to workplaces, but with good services.
Many people choose to flee the capital, where rental prices today have an average cost of €1,203 / month, according to data from the Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory. Still, for work and personal reasons, they do not want to move away from Barcelona and choose to settle in the Metropolitan Area.
- The Barcelona Metropolitan Area, AMB, is made up of 36 municipalities, and is considered one of the largest metropolitan regions in Europe.
The new 11/2020 rental law, of 18 September, of urgent measures in the matter of containment of rents in residential rental agreements lowers and freezes the rental price of new contracts in the areas with the highest demand for housing. However, many people, despite working in Barcelona, do not find rental housing at a price consistent with their salary. That is why a significant percentage choose to live in one of the 35 other municipalities that make up the AMB.
With an area of 636 km² and a population of 3,239,339 inhabitants, the AMB is one of the largest metropolitan regions in Europe. Only 48% of its territory is urbanized, whereas the remaining 52% are forests, beaches, and unoccupied land. This natural environment, the good quality of facilities such as internationally valued health centres such as Vall d’Hebron and Hospital Clínic, a good public education system, an extensive transport network, and a great cultural and leisure offer provide, altogether, a high standard of living in this area.
- Sabadell, Terrassa, and Badalona, the most sought-after cities in the AMB
The most sought-after cities, according to data from the real estate website Idealista this June 2021, are: Barcelona, Terrassa, l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Sabadell, and Badalona. The following table details the purchase and rental prices of these cities, according to the same source:
Due to the situation, it must be borne in mind that Barcelona is losing population, despite remaining the most in-demand city. This explains the growth of Terrassa and the other cities, given the important difference in the price of housing. This, added to the factors previously described, becomes the determining factor for going to live outside the Rose of Fire, and continue to take advantage of large cities while focusing on quality of life.
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