© Reuters. Hotel investment falls 68% in Barcelona in 2022 after an exceptional 2021
Barcelona, Feb 4 (.).- Barcelona closed 2022 with a hotel investment of 229 million, compared to the 721 million registered in the previous year, which represents a drop of 68%, which has been due to the fact that 2021 was “exceptional” due to the crisis caused by the pandemic, since many operations have been left waiting for prices to rise due to improved expectations.
As the partners of the developer and real estate consultancy 3Capital, Juan Gallardo and Roger Serrallonga, explained to EFE, the arrival of the pandemic caused treasury problems for many hoteliers, who were forced to sell their establishments.
Hence, 2021 was an “atypical” year in terms of hotel investment and that 2022 has come much closer to years like 2020, in which investment reached 153.7 million; 2019, with 264 million, or 2018, 192 million.
Despite the first two months of 2022 marked by the omicron variant and the start of the invasion of Ukraine, the tourism sector had a significant boost during the rest of the year.
This improvement led to the withdrawal from the market of several assets in the sale process “waiting for a better opportunity to be able to negotiate upwards”, according to Gallardo.
Regarding total hotel investment in Spain, in 2022 Barcelona lost positions in favor of Madrid, which had a record year, the Balearic Islands or Malaga, since the Catalan capital only captured 7% of the total.
“Madrid began to gain international positioning a few years ago,” Gallardo explained, adding that it increased during the pandemic, since it was one of the cities with the fewest restrictions on entertainment venues.
In addition, the fact that some major international brands, such as Four Seasons, landed in Madrid, has also helped, after not being able to do so in Barcelona.
The directors of 3Capital have recalled that Barcelona cannot create a new hotel offer in the most touristic areas of the city with the entry into force of the Special Urban Plan for Tourist Accommodation (Peuat).
“Hotels can be built in non-tourist areas, which can be comfortable and well connected, but where visitors do not usually go,” Serrallonga pointed out.
Some of the most notable operations of 2022 in the Catalan capital were the sale of Hotel 1882, Hotel Occidental 1929 or Casa Lit, which took around 150 million of the total investment for the year.
According to the managers of 3Capital, in terms of the price per room, the operations carried out in 2022 had a “relative appreciation” compared to those closed in previous years, with an average of 402,000 euros in the 4-star hotels and some 340,000 per unit in the three stars, since most of the establishments were recently renovated.
RECORD PRICE RISES
According to Gallardo, the prices of hotels in Barcelona increased on average by 15% compared to the record that was already set by the 2019 season, a percentage that reached 20% in high-end establishments.
This rise was accompanied by a significant rise in costs due to the rise in prices in general and energy prices in particular.
With tourism on the rise and the return of international visitors, 2023 begins with good expectations for hotel investment in the city, due to the operations that were pending in 2022 and that could be signed in the first months of the year.