District 22@ is Barcelona business and innovation hub

The District 22@ in Barcelona has transformed the neighborhood in which it was settled in the year 2000 into a business center with more than 8,800 companies. 30% of them are dedicated to technology and employ about 93,000 people.

The companies have gone from 3,437 in the year 2000 to 8,823 registered in the last census of 2015.
A recent study includes the most significant figures and statistics in the history of 22@, from an economic, urban and social point of view, and offers the image of a project that  has been a source of inspiration in other cities around the world.

The economic transformation of the neighborhood is evident in the growth of the number of companies, which went from 3,437 in 2000 to 8,823 registered in the last census of 2015.

Of these 4,500 companies installed in this time interval, 47.3% are newly created and the rest are companies that have moved from other neighborhoods, while 30% belong to intensive activities in knowledge and technology.

Regarding the workers, in 2015 there were a total of 2,914 independent professionals in the district and the overall calculation of employees in the district reaches 93,000, of which 32.3% have a university degree.

Another interesting fact is that the export companies located in the district have an average of 38% of their volume of sales abroad.

The report reveals that, as of 2014, the transformation of 50.60% of the land of the District 22@ was pending. Urban and economic transformation has led to a social change in the district of Sant Martí, in which the population has increased by 3.69% in the 2007-2014 period, above the Barcelona average.

The disposable income of families in this district is also above the average of Barcelona and the foreign population coming from the EU has more representation than in the whole of the city.

Barcelona City Council makes a positive assessment of the District 22@, a project that has been born and grown linked to innovation, with a public-private model of collaboration between administration, companies, universities and research centers.

The recent studies stressed that the Districts 22@, which emerged to transform the industrial area of Poblenou, has returned to receive a new boost after the break suffered in recent years.


Original in Spainish:


Good news for investors: Spain commits to fixed interest rate mortgages

Spain has always been a country of variable interest rates, which is great for the banks but puts all the risks on the home buyers and investors.

The new law favoring fixed rates shows a commitment by Spain to having a more competitive real estate market that could compete with countries like France in terms of improved mortgage conditions. This is undoubtely a good move for Spanish investors and home buyers.

The number of fixed interest rates loans has greatly increased in Spain due to very low interest rates set with the Euribor.

One of the most important measures of the new mortgage law in Spain is going to generate a new commitment to fixed mortgages. As explained by the Ministry of Economy,  the ability to convert variable mortgages into fixed mortgages is among the main changes included in the Real Estate Credit Bill.

The new law will provide the possibility to those who sign a mortgage loan after the bill becomes law, but it is one of the few laws that will be retroactive allowing current mortgages to also benefit from it.

Luis de Guindos, Head of the Ministry, explains: “We are in a time of negative interest rates, but it is something exceptional. The rates will rise again and those who sign a variable rate mortgage do not have the same long-term certainty as those who sign a fixed mortgage. In addition, we think that the measures will increase the mortgage competition between the banks, which also benefits the consumer “

Mortgage owners will have the possibility to change their mortgage at a very reduced cost. Moreover, the client will only pay a commission if the change occurs during the first three years of the life of the loan.

“The fixed rate will be perceived as an alternative with more attractiveness than in recent years, once the rise in interest rates by the European Central Bank (ECB) approaches when economic growth gains strength in the eurozone and expectations of inflation begin to increase. As a result, the evolution of interest rates may lead to the signing of a greater number of mortgages at fixed rates, while the bill may encourage the change to a fixed rate by eliminating the commission after the third year. However, it would be expected that this transition would not be very fast, since we estimate that the 12-month Euribor will remain in negative territory for a good part of 2018″ continues the Ministry.

In any case, there are currently very competitive offers. In the idealista mortgage comparison, for example, there is a variable rate loans from Euribor + 0.75% and fixed from 1.65% and 2.1% for a longer term (30 years). These conditions are more advantageous than those registered just a couple of years ago, when 30-year fixed mortgages were at around 2.45% and the variables around 1% in the summer of 2016.




Spain is one of the preferred locations for students. How is the rental marked influenced by that?

“Apartment for rent. Only students, preferably Erasmus. ”

This type of advertising is increasingly common in Spanish university cities, as the owners realize the advantages offered by renting their homes to foreign students who are only a few months in the country.

In fact, leading rental platform for student housing internationally, have quadrupled their activity in the last year in Spain.

According to a report of the HousErasmus+, 75% of international students visiting Spain stay in shared flats.
Each year, Spain receives 42,000 Erasmus students, which makes the country the favorite destination for European students. However, according to this same study, Spain is one of the countries that offers fewer residences for students, with only 90,000 seats compared to 375,000 in France or 113,000 in the Netherlands (a country that has almost three times less population).

In addition, the average price of these accommodations is high: around 650 euros a month for a room in public residences and about 800 euros in private ones. In contrast, renting a room in a student flat costs an average of 420 euros per month, so most foreigners choose this option.

Specifically, 75% of international students visiting Spain stay in shared apartments, 19% in studios or individual apartments, 4% in student residences and only 2% in family homes or other accommodations. These last options are used mostly at the beginning of the stay, as Erasmus often spend a few weeks in a residence or with a family while they find a shared flat.

The “ideal” tenants for landlords

For their part, Spanish owners are increasingly interested in renting their homes to foreign students, for various reasons. The main one is that they make short stays (an average of 3 months), compared to the 3 years of duration that has a conventional rental; they pay market prices or even slightly higher (422.06 euros per average room, although prices skyrocket in cities such as Madrid or Barcelona); and in general they are not conflicting. This allows owners to rent their homes with the flexibility of being able to dispose of them after a few months, adjust rental prices based on the evolution of the market to obtain greater profitability, and avoid problems such as those generated by rent tourist.

Here at Next Door BCN, we believe that Spain, and Barcelona in particular, is the favorite destination for international students and homeowners are realizing the potential that this segment offers”.

This, of course, has many other implications on the market prices.

What do you think about this topic?


Translated from http://bit.ly/2juHovj by Next Door Bcn

Who and why is purchasing luxury properties in Barcelona?

According to Living, a Real Estate Consulting in Barcelona, the 65% of the buyers of luxury properties are Spanish nationals.

Another 35% is composed by a 12% of British nationals, 8% French, 5% Russian, 4% Chinese and a mix of other nationalities form the leaving 4%, including single buyers and investments funds.

The Commercial Director of Living says that “international buyers have more and more interest in purchasing luxury properties in Barcelona. For this reason, in central districts like Eixample, the demand has already surpasseed the supply”

What are the main motivations for purchasing a luxury property in Barcelona?

Investment is the first reason, the second is having a second home and just a small percentage wants the have the luxury property for living.

“This sector doesn’t know crisis” continues the Commercial Director of Living.

Here at Next Door, we surely believe that one of the main factors for investing in a luxury property in Barcelona is having a second home in such a wonderful city with a high quality of life.

And what do you think?



Original article:





If a company would pay you to relocate anywhere, where would you go?

A workflow automation tool company based in the USA, has announced in a recent press release that they are now offering a so-called “delocation” package to incoming employees living in the San Francisco area.

This is a great innovation as many other companies already offered a relocation package to move new employees to the city that meets the company’s business needs, but this one is letting the employee choose the city that best meets their own needs.

Zapier, this is the company’s name, started as a side project where the co-founders worked remotely as we had to capitalize on free time whenever we had it,” said Wade Foster, Co-Founder and CEO. “We simply started hiring the best people in our networks –but they were outside of Silicon Valley because we’re originally from the Midwest: in this way the remote aspect continued.”

“Five years later, Zapier has 80+ employees, all remote, across 13 countries and 22 states,” said Foster. “We have always been a 100% remote company and have no intention to establish a centralized headquarters. We found a business model that works for us and incentivizes the best talent to live and work anywhere in the world.”

“Many of us feel we have to make a career sacrifice,” continued Foster. “You have to go from the land of opportunity for your tech career to a city with a more limited set of options for your own personal growth.”

Currently, their “delocation” package only applies to applicants in the San Francisco area that are looking to move elsewhere. The benefit includes up to $10,000 reimbursed for moving expenses incurred during the first three months of work. Employees using the package must remain with the company for at least a year.

At next Door BCN, we believe that Barcelona is a perfect place for a delocation!


Original article:


Barcelona smart city

The Spanish multicultural metropolis has already a reputation for pursuing urban technological innovation. In fact, with its network of 500km of optical fiber, free WiFi, sensors to monitor air quality, parking spaces and even waste bins, Barcelona is at the cutting edge of testing the internet of things (IoT).

Recently, the major Ada Colau and Francesca Bria, Barcelona’s chief technology officer and digital commissioner, are planning to turn it into an internet city for citizens.

Antonio Conde, Cisco’s head of innovation in Spain, says some of the technologies have helped Barcelona’s public services to be more efficient, and less harmful to the environment. As an example, sensors have reduced the amount of water used by city parks saving money but also trimming consumption.

The city authorities are encouraging citizens to participate in planning policies helping them with neighborhood meetings and online consultations. Barcelona is trying to achieve more transparency, inviting the public to flag any signs of corruption the municipal contracts are putting online. It is also developing an online map and register of vacant properties and rentals as part of its drive to improve the supply of affordable housing.

Moreover, its encouraging local small and medium-sized businesses to develop products and services using city networks and data.

Above all, the goal is to put people first. “Today Barcelona’s smart city strategy is based on citizen’s needs and policy goals” says Bria, “We reversed the paradigm completely”.


From Financial Times:



Many are returning to Spain after the crisis. More jobs, more investments, higher standards.

After years of going abroad to find employment, the Iberian Peninsula is experiencing a resurgence in both economy and popularity. And that is bolstering Portuguese and Spanish psyches as well as wallets.

At the peak of the economic crisis in Spain, Raul Gil readily found a job at an association in Berlin that helped bewildered young Spaniards newly arrived in Germany navigate a new language, cultural mores, and workplace etiquette.

By the time he decided to return home in 2016, ultimately to this seaside town in Cantabria where he was born and raised, he realized he could put his skills to use in reverse: for other Spaniards also now wishing to come back.

He and two friends created “Volvemos” – literally “We Return” – a nonprofit organization dedicated to the return migration of Spaniards who sought economic refuge in Britain, Germany, and beyond.

“For many years we’ve talked about those who have left, but we are now focusing on those who want to return,” says Mr. Gil in Santoña, a fishing port famous for its anchovy production.

His organization – and its aims – are but one sign of a country in the middle of an economic recovery. And in neighboring Portugal, the shift in fortunes feels even more dramatic.

The country needed a bailout in 2011 amid the European Union’s sovereign debt crisis, and Portugal’s then-prime minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, publicly told young citizens their best hope was to go elsewhere. Not only are officials now seeking to lure emigrants back home, but Lisbon, the country’s capital, has become one of the hottest destinations in Europe, helping to change the narrative of the crisis-racked Iberian Peninsula.

The economic boost in both Spain and Portugal is just part of the greater rebound they are experiencing, however. As important, perhaps more so, is the accompanying boost in morale for each after years of job contraction and population loss. Instead of being forced to go far from home to find a tenable life, Iberians are finding their homeland is becoming an attractive place to be – not just for them, but for Europeans more broadly.

“International newspapers only talked about Portugal because of its poor economic performance. Now the narrative around Portugal is really positive,” says Marina Costa Lobo of the University of Lisbon’s Institute of Social Sciences. “This positive image is unprecedented in the 21th century, and the country is taking advantage of it.”

Spain climbs back

Spain’s population increased in 2016 for the first time in five years, the most recent census figures showed this summer. It was a modest increase at 0.19 percent, but underlines a broader turn, where immigration rates have rebounded while emigration has slowed. Population growth traces Spain’s three-year economic recovery. Some 480,000 new full-time posts were created in the past year, according to government figures released this summer, although political instability is Catalonia could drag on overall growth.

Jobs are being created across the spectrum, says Javier Díaz Giménez, professor of economics at IESE Business School in Madrid. Some traditional sectors like tourism are booming, but even construction workers, the hardest hit amid the real estate bubble that popped, have become a symbol of new hope. “Even they are finding jobs again in Spain,” he says.

Ivan Jimenez, the managing director of Bizkaia Talent, travels to Britain and Germany, among other places, to attract talent to the Basque city of Bilbao. He says his job is much easier today. After years of job destruction in the region, the Basque Country has created 15,000 jobs in last three years, 45 percent of them highly qualified. “I started in 2011 in the middle of the crisis. It was not a good time to talk about attraction of talent,” he says.

Eztizen Andres knows this all too well. When she obtained her degree in architecture from the University of Navarra in 2012, she graduated right into “Generacion Crisis,” a class of university degree-holders with few prospects at home. Of her 15 closest colleagues at school, almost all packed their suitcases: for Germany, Chile, Mexico, and Ghana.

So Ms. Andres and her boyfriend left their home in Bilbao for Berlin, where they met Gil and the network of Spaniards abroad. They both landed jobs, she becoming fluent in German, and today recognize the perspectives they gained from leaving their homes and comfort zones. “But we started to miss home, and our families. Every time we went to Bilbao, we found it harder to leave,” she says.

Through the Volvemos network, she was able to land a job in her field in Madrid, and the two returned to Spain at the end of the spring – something she says more of her peers aspire to do. “It’s true Spaniards don’t want to leave. We have a Spanish saying: ‘why would we leave when we live so well here?’ Spaniards don’t even want to leave Spain for vacation.”

‘An oasis of stability’

As Spaniards return home, Portugal – particularly its two main cities Lisbon and Porto – is seeing its own revival. It’s a far cry from just a few years ago, when amid an $83 billion EU bailout, young people were advised they should leave.

Now the storyline has changed – and not just due to economic recovery, with GDP growing above the eurozone average and unemployment below 10 percent for the first time since the crisis flared in 2010. Bright news is all over: the national soccer team won the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time this year, and former Prime Minister António Guterres was nominated as secretary-general of the United Nations. The country also has been spared the terrorism that has hit Europe elsewhere, as well as the rise of the far right.

Further, CNN deemed Lisbon the “coolest city” in Europe. Forbes chose Porto as “the place” to visit this year. Politico called Portugal “an oasis of stability” in Europe.

Europeans are paying attention. Laurine Montresor, a human resources manager originally from the French overseas region Guadeloupe, relocated to Lisbon from Barcelona over the summer and says Portugal is all the buzz. “So many people in France talk about coming to Portugal now. Life is better, there’s more joy, more sun,” she says. “And you don’t need to speak Portuguese to work and live here since everyone speaks English.”

It’s a reverse migration of sorts. Cecilia Cardoso’s grandparents were among the almost half million Portuguese who emigrated to France in the 1960s and ’70s escaping poverty. Born and raised in France, Ms. Cardoso embraced her Portuguese identity and decided in the summer of 2015 to relocate and open a pastry shop in Leiria, north of Lisbon. The terrorist attacks at the Bataclan theater and elsewhere in Paris a few months later convinced her that leaving France was the right call.

“I remember taking the subway to work a few days after and everyone looked suspiciously at you. No one trusted anyone. It felt awful. I cannot live like that,” she says. “My friends keep telling me they’ll gladly take a pay cut and move here so their kids can experience some freedom growing up.”

More work needed

Some Portuguese economists remain skeptical about the government failing to implement structural reforms to create long-term, high-quality jobs. Portugal’s debt, at 130 percent of GDP, is the eurozone’s third highest. Spain’s unemployment, meanwhile, stands at 17.22 percent – and for youths it is 38.7 percent.

Much needs to change in the Spanish labor market, Gil says. While recovery in southern Europe makes the notion of Volvemos possible, he concedes, “most aren’t returning because of the marvelous working conditions in Spain,” he says. There is still a dearth of high-paid, secure work for the 7,000 Spaniards in the Volvemos database.

Volvemos tries to ensure that all the jobs advertised on its website are in demand, and when they are low quality, they are removed. The organization also works with companies and public administration offices to actively recruit Spaniards abroad, after years of unofficial policy of easing the unemployment crisis by simply letting them leave. “Spanish administrations realize they need these kinds of people to help continue to invigorate the economy,” Gil says.

Emigrants tend to have language skills, different cultural perspectives, and above all, grit, he says. “They now realize they can’t lose this talent.”


Original article: