The real estate market in Barcelona can be a bit chaotic. Prices can range from the unbelievably high to the suspiciously low. There’s always a risk that when you arrive the room will not live up to your expectations, or that when you think you’ve finally found the perfect flat that someone else will snap it up from under your feet. Here we give you some basic tips to help you through the sometimes arduous process of renting in Barcelona.
Real Estate in Barcelona
The cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia is renowned for its stunning architecture and thriving artistic culture, making it a hugely attractive place to call home. Demand for real estate is high throughout the year, but rises in the autumnal months of September, October and November as the University semester picks up and students arrive in the city. It can be difficult to find a clean, furnished, and well-located room; and even more so if you’re searching through a language barrier. According to Uniplaces, Europe’s leading rental market place, it takes students an average of a full week to find a room.
The average costs of renting a room
Costs of accommodation can vary greatly in the city depending on the size, age, and location of the room, along with whether or not the flat comes furnished. Paying over €800 per month for a room is probably excessive, whilst paying between €100 and €200 risks compromising on quality. Generally, prices for rooms are between €300 and €900 per month, with all bills included. The average cost of renting a room is around €400 to €450 per month, again with all bills included.
Every barrio in Barcelona has its own distinct flavor, and this is no different for the housing stock. Some residential buildings are over 100 years old, while others are newly built or recently renovated. The quality of the room can be affected by the age of the building, with common problems including rot, tapered cracks and sloping floors. But a good renovation can work miracles! Businesses such as Live Further, who either manage apartments on behalf of landlords or offer their own apartments, guarantee that the flats are kept fully-equipped and in excellent condition. Before renting out a room, they put time and effort into renovating the apartment to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.
At Live Further we understand that moving abroad or to a new city can be a daunting experience, so we go above and beyond to offer extra services aimed at optimizing your experience here.
Imagine yourself stuck in the following situation. You’ve been in Barcelona for 2 weeks when your boiler suddenly breaks down. Your landlord doesn’t speak English, but the estate agency that works for him has told you that it’s your fault and that you have to pay for the repairs. You don’t yet speak enough Spanish to explain that this wasn’t your fault, or that paying for boiler repair is outside your budget. What do you do?
Extra services like dispute resolution could be a life saver if any such problems arise in your apartment. While some agencies will leave you helpless, other providers offer an integrated service which manages the relationship between tenant and landlord throughout your stay. We advise that before renting a room, you should always ask if the landlord provides any additional services, for example:
Maintenance of communal areas;
Maintenance and repair in the event of any damages, leakages etc.
Tips for room hunting:
We recommend you start looking for a room around two months before your planned move-in date. This way you will have plenty of time to find the perfect room for you. Remember that as demand is high, nicer flats will be occupied earlier, leaving less attractive alternatives. If you need a room immediately, you could end up in one that doesn’t satisfy your needs, or which is situated in the wrong area for you.
Make sure you know where you want to live. Barcelona is a vibrant city which offers something for everyone, whether you would prefer to be steeped in the rich history of El Gòtic, within throwing distance of the beaches in Barceloneta, or soaking up the unique vibe of trendy Gràcia. Traveling and exploring the city is a lot of fun, but if you have to traverse the city twice a day for work or University it can get exhausting!
Need lots of space? Are you planning on bringing your entire wardrobe from home? Make sure you get a room with enough closet space. A big closet needs a big room! You can expect to pay around €650 for a larger room, normally with a double bed.
Erasmus or international student? Or are you a graduate moving to Barcelona to complete an internship? Maybe you’ll need a room with a desk. Rooms designed for students and graduates have an average price of €450, where you can work or study in comfort.
Are you planning on being away a lot? Then a big room may not be a high priority. Maybe you would prefer a flat with excellent transport connections, possibly near a metro station, bus stop, or bicing dock. In this scenario you might consider a small room costing around €375.
These are all factors that play a role when renting a room. Make sure the room you rent meets your needs.
If we could I’m sure most of us would love to go out every night, and in Barcelona you will never lack nightlife. Just make sure that you’re still able to pay the rent and do your grocery shopping. The last thing you want is to run out of money, or get kicked out of your apartment.
Budget! Work out how much you have available to spend each month, how much you want to allocate to rent, and how much you want to spend enjoying your free time. This will help you a lot when searching for your room, and later on when doing your groceries!