Commercial Investors Swoop as "Brand Barcelona's" Global Appeal Continues to Grow

Barcelona, Spain, August 05, 2013 --( Luxury Barcelona-based real estate agency Lucas Fox has registered a doubling in demand for luxury hotel conversions and off-plan commercial projects in the first six months of 2013 as Barcelona's international appeal continues to strengthen.

Most interest has come from UK, American, Swiss and Middle Eastern investors as well as more recently from South American and African clients, particularly for commercial properties in the Example and Old Town districts of the city, also known as the "Golden Square."

Lucas Fox Commercial Property Director Aimar Valls says a number of leading luxury hotel operators are in talks with the company to manage or buy commercial properties in Barcelona as they seek to expand their businesses in one of the most sought-after cities in the world:

"Hotel investment in Barcelona has continued to be resilient despite Spain's economic difficulties. We currently have around 20 potential investors for every building to convert. We are also expecting a new influx of investors from the Far East once the new Residency Law has been enforced this autumn. This demand will eventually push up prices so now is a golden opportunity to invest in Barcelona, especially in the luxury hotel market."

Despite the current global economic situation, Barcelona is expected to receive almost seven and a half million tourists in 2013 - the same as the record number received in 2012 – thanks, in large part, to increasing visitor numbers from North America, Britain and Russia and to the recently introduced daily direct flights from Barcelona to Dubai.

Over the past 10 years, there's been strong growth in the hotel sector with a 75% increase in room supply in Barcelona. Last year alone, 14 new hotels opened in Barcelona, contributing to more than 65 thousand rooms in the city. The increase in supply has not had a negative impact on room rates, however, which remain at an average of 109 euros per night, still a long way off the 2005 figure of 120 euros per night.

According to a recent report by accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), Barcelona is on track to be the fourth city in Europe in terms of hotel occupancy in 2013 and predicts that revenue per room will also increase.

Valls predicts a bright future for Barcelona's luxury hotel market in the medium to long-term, and expects the city to further consolidate its position as one of the world's leading tourist destinations within the events and conventions sector as well as the cruise market.

"Barcelona is now a worldwide brand. It has always been a city with a significant international presence but it was the 1992 Olympics Games that placed it on the map, gave it an international profile and helped to make it one of the highly rated cities in the world. Not only this, its football team, beaches, climate and cosmopolitan atmosphere have all contributed to the 'boom' in the Barcelona brand in the last few years, and I believe this is just the beginning."

About Lucas Fox:
Lucas Fox was founded in Barcelona in 2005 and has established itself as one of the foremost Real Estate agents dealing with international clients in Spain. 

The company focuses on luxury residential properties with an average transaction value of €1m plus and high-end commercial property to private equity companies.
The commercial property division was established in 2011 in response to increasing demand from international clients looking to invest in hotels, residential buildings and retail space.

In 2013 Lucas Fox and leading law firm ECIJA formed a Joint Venture "," offering advice and support to clients who want to get residency permits in Spain through property investments worth more than 500 thousand euros.

The company's expertise on property-related matters, market trends and lifestyle is recognised both nationally and internationally. Recent press coverage includes CNN International, Al Jazeera Television, The Times, The Telegraph. El Pais, La Vanguardia and Tele5.

For more information on this press release, quotes or high resolution images please contact Carrie Frais by phone on +34 620586655 or by email
Lucas Fox International Properties
Antonio Esposito
(+34) 933 562 989