Barcelona closed 2022 with a hotel investment of 229 million, compared to the 721 million registered in the previous year, which represents a fall of 68%, which has been due to the fact that 2021 was “exceptional” due to the crisis caused by the pandemic and that many operations have been waiting for prices to rise due to the improvement in expectations.
According to the partners of the real estate developer and consultancy 3Capital, Juan Gallardo and Roger Serrallonga, the arrival of the pandemic caused cash flow 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 such as 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 omnin variant and the beginning 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 process of sale “waiting for a better opportunity to be able to negotiate upwards”, as highlighted by Gallardo.
Regarding the 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,” explained Gallardo, adding that it increased it during the pandemic, since it was one of the cities with the least restrictions on leisure venues.
In addition, it has also helped that some major international brands, such as Four Seasons, landed in Madrid, after not being able to do so in Barcelona.
The directors of 3Capital have recalled that Barcelona cannot create new hotel offer in the most tourist areas of the city with the entry into force of the Special Urban Plan for Tourist Accommodation (Peuat).
“You can build hotels in non-tourist areas, which can be comfortable and well connected, but where visitors do not usually go,” said Serrallonga.
Some of the most outstanding operations of 2022 in the Catalan capital were the sale of Hotel 1882, the Occidental 1929 Hotel or Casa Lit, which took around 150 million of the total investment of the year.
According to the directors of 3Capital, with regard to the price per room, the operations carried out in 2022 had a “relative appreciation” with respect to those closed in previous years, with 402,000 euros on average in the 4 stars and about 340,000 per unit for three stars, since most of the establishments were newly renovated.
RECORD PRICE INCREASES
According to Gallardo, hotel prices in Barcelona increased by an average of 15% compared to the record set by the 2019 season, a percentage that reached 20% in high-end establishments.
This rise was accompanied by a significant increase in costs due to the rise in prices in general and energy in particular.
With tourism on the rise and the return of international visitors, 2023 begins with good expectations of 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.