Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona are among the most attractive cities in the world to invest in commercial real estate, both for investors and for occupants. According to the report presented by Simon Rubinsohn, Director of Economic Studies at RICS, based on the replies of thousands of professionals from 34 different countries, Lisbon is one of the cities with the best score in the Investment Sentiment Index, just behind Amsterdam. Madrid is similar to Berlin and right after Frankfurt and Budapest, while Barcelona stands out in the Occupier Sentiment Index as the most interesting city of all in this respect. Among the less attractive cities for investment or occupants are now Doha, Zurich, London or New York.
In Madrid, according to this survey, offices continue to be the strongest segment of the market, followed by the industrial and retail markets. Lisbon contrasts with this scenario, where prime retail is the strongest segment, followed by the prime offices and industrial prime.
In the panel discussion where the Chairman of RICS Spain, Eduardo Fernandez-Cuesta, the members of the Board of RICS Spain Javier Kindelán and Pedro Abella and the lawyer Álvaro Otero, Partner of the CMS, cautious optimism was the dominant note. The environment is positive and there are still uncountable real estate market opportunities, with operations happening and with high liquidity.
For the experts, the macro risks remain "relatively moderate" today, but a less positive external environment may influence the Spanish and Portuguese economies. But there’s a projected growth of more than 2% in 2019 for Spain, and slightly less in the case of Portugal. The increase in further measures of protectionism may, however, reflect "a considerable challenge for the two economies next year," says Simon Rubinsohn.
The market is now awaiting the effects of the end of the ECB's quantitative easing policy from the end of the year, and highlights the issue of political instability and possible change of government in Spain. Anyway, in these cities there’s less concern with these subjects as opposed to others outside the Iberian Peninsula.