Barcelona’s office real estate market continues to break new ground as a record 256,000 m2 of office space were allocated in the first six months of the year, 30% more than the year before. The Catalan capital is considered one of the world’s best cities to work in, as evidenced by the fact that 48% of the allocations went to foreign firms.

The volume of investments also set a new record, reaching more than 600 million euros in the semester, a ten-year high. The increasing inflow of foreign investment capital is boosting the market, leading to the development of new buildings and a flurry of portfolio sales as firms sell off non-strategic assets to focus on their core activities. Two years after a referendum on Catalonian independence led thousands of companies to flee the region, new companies and investors are pouring in.

Tech companies have accounted for 27% of the allocated surface area, while co-working firms had another 22%. In the first six months of the year, co-working firms have snapped up 56,080 m2 of offices, more than the total for 2018.

The fervour in the market is leading to tightening supply, and the office vacancy rate has fallen to just 6.8%. That fall has led office rents in Barcelona to increase steadily for the last six years, and rents went up by 3% in the first semester of this year, largely powered by the prime and new business districts.