Sants Montjuic – Poble Sec
Poble Sec Barcelona | Properties Poble Sec | Barcelona Buyers
Poble Sec is the most famous and most interesting area in the district of Sants-Montjuic.
It stretches between the Avenida Paralelo (that separates Poble Sec from the Raval) and the Montjuic hill and borders with Plaza de Espanya on one side, and the sea on the other.
Poble Sec means “Dry village” in Catalan, because until a fountain was built at the end of the XIX Century, the area had no water.
The development of Poble Sec started in the XIX Century when people who could not afford living within the walled city started to settle in this area. Poble Sec became a very important place when Mr. Frederick Stark Pearson, an American engineer, set up his hydro-electric power company here, which converted Poble Sec into the industrial capital of Barcelona.
Later, Poble Sec became known for the theatres and clubs along the Avenida Paralelo, which was at some point one of the most important and lively streets of Barcelona. The avenue is today regaining this reputation thanks to the opening of some famous restaurants and the refurbishment of some of the most famous venues, such as the “El Molino” theatre. Born as an answer to Paris’ Moulin Rouge (initially called “El Petit Moulin Rouge”), the theatre has been active for over 100 years in the cabaret business.
Poble Sec features also one of my favourite places in Barcelona, the Teatre Grec, an open-air theatre that, like all proper Greek amphitheatres, offers perfect acoustic. The surrounding garden offers a magnificent view on the city. It is a magic place.
The change in the area of Poble Sec is very recent. Up to only six or seven years ago, Poble Sec was still a relatively quiet corner of Barcelona, populated by a mixed of local residents and immigrants mainly from South America. Property prices were quite low, and the area offered a less crowded alternative to the touristy neighbouring areas of the Raval and the Eixample.
Today, Poble Sec is one of trendiest, liveliest and property-wise most interesting areas of Barcelona.
The low property prices and the enviable location have attracted many foreigners, including young professionals such as architects, designers, and artists who have opened studios in the streets of Poble Sec.
Calle Blai and Plaza del Sortidor have become two of the most famous destinations of the Barcelona nightlife thanks to countless bars, restaurants, cafes, and tapas places with outdoor terraces. Every day it is possible to enjoy excellent tapas (called pintxos) and drinks. The streets of Poble Sec offer some amazing restaurants with many different types of food.
The Avenida Paralelo features some of the most famous restaurants of Barcelona and not only, such as Tickets, listed among the best restaurants in the world.
The absence of landmarks preserves the area of Poble Sec from being floated by tourists, which leaves the place quiet.
The proximity to the Montjuic hill offers wide green spaces easily accessible for a walk, jogging, relaxing, or refreshing during the hot Summer days.
The sea is reachable in around 15 minute walk and so are the Ramblas.
The change in the area has also affected the type of shops. While it is still possible to find bazaars from different areas of the world offering any types of products, it is now easier to find supermarkets, grocery shops, bakeries, and other types of proximity shops.
Poble Sec is therefore an excellent area to either live or invest in Barcelona. Properties in Poble Sec rent out extremely well and fast not only for the advantages that the location offers but also for the presence of some universities.
Transport links in Poble Sec are very good, with two of the main underground lines stopping along the Avenida Paralelo (L2 and L3, Parallel and Poble Sec stations), and many buses.
The shuttle bus to/from the international airport stops at Plaza de Espanya and reaches the airport in less than 20 minutes without any further stop.
Of the remaining areas of Sants Montjuic, Sants is – from a property investment point of view – the most interesting one. It is a typical city residential area, with excellent transport links, and full of shops and services.
Sants is not as popular as Poble Sec but it represents a good area to live if you prefer to stay out of the crowded tourist areas. It is a higher level residential areas than Poble Sec. Average prices are higher, and the profile of the buyers is completely different.
Finally, keep an eye on Hostafrancs too. It is rapidly increasing in value and it is meant to become “the next Poble Sec”.
The Properties in Poble Sec
Poble Sec offers a mix of beautiful Modernist buildings from the early XX Century and more modern blocks. If you go for a walk in this area, focus on the building façades. Some of them are extremely beautiful and have nothing to envy to the more famous Eixample ones!
It is one of the areas you can focus on if you are looking for an investment property to refurbish and either resell or rent out or simply for an excellent buy-to-let investment.
Alternatively, it offers charming refurbished flats or more modern buildings with lifts.
Prices in Sants-Montjuic
The average price per m2 in the district of Sants Montjuic has slightly declined over the past year (source Habitaclia, October 2019).
The current price per m2 of 3.856,32 € is the average of the prices in all the areas of the district, which includes higher prices in Poble Sec and Sants, and lower prices in the other areas. This average price is still lower than the one of other areas like Eixample, Sant Martin, and Gracia.
The increase in the district prices registered in 2017 and 2016 had been driven by the increase in the area of Poble Sec as a consequence of the surge in the demand of properties in this area.
Today, in Poble Sec it is possible to find a few properties to refurbish between 2.000 € and 3.000 € per m2. The cheapest are mostly ground floor units, often without a license of occupancy but they can still represent an interesting investment when turned into fashionable lofts.
Around 3,500 € per m2 it is already possible to find renovated flats, but beautiful renovated properties reach prices of 6.000 € to 8.000 € per m2. For this price, it is advisable to get a flat in the historical city centre, either in the Borne or the Gotico, or in the Eixample.