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The wide impact of spatial planning in urban life, a reflection about the evolution of real estate prices in the Granada metropolitan area.

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 Ignacio Ferrando del Rincón

It is known that spatial planning of an area is a key factor that will determine the prosperity of the land itself. Nevertheless, sometimes the true impact of it over several matters is not easily conceived by citizens, due to its technical complexity and the multiple variables that are included in it and affect the final outcome of the region. 

Clear examples that an average citizen could have in mind when talking about these matters are the proposed land usages because the market price for square meter is going to be determined by the use that you can give to a plot. The popularity of this matter sadly comes from the multiple corruption and traffic interest cases that we have had over the last few decades in Spain, where land requalification with the purpose of political benefit has been a common practice. 

Narrowing the scope to the market price of property nowadays, the influential factors that anyone can list when speaking about this on a daily basis are location, size and state of it, construction features, and the value that surrounding services and installations provide to it. When thinking about the factors that will determine the future evolution of the market price, variables are less obvious, mainly because free markets bring speculation with themselves and the price of an apartment may change from month to month due to totally external factors. What stays clear is that the future development of the area where a property stands is a key factor to assess how the price will evolve. 

The previous statements are really well demonstrated with the situation of the Granada metropolitan area over the last five years. There are three factors that have been crucial to a great development of the area within the city of Armilla: 

  1. The Technological Campus of Health Sciences. This campus is a huge complex where universities, research centers, and business are located, and brings a great number of people to its installations every single day. 
  2. The Nevada mall construction, a mall that has over 280.000 square meters, with 120.000 destined for retail business. This mall has an estimation of 5000 jobs created directly and about 2000 indirectly. 
  3. The creation of a light rail service that connects Granada with its metropolitan area. This rail itinerary has just one line that goes from Albolote to Armilla, driving all the way through the city center. 

These three events lead the Armilla area to a great economic dynamism and have been the trigger to a higher demand of people who now want to live in the area by either renting property or buying an apartment in the surroundings. Right away different data are presented where this tendency can be noticed. 

Picture 1. Rental price evolution in Armilla over the last five years. Data from Idealista company.

The graph shows a significant increase in the rental price for square meter over the last five years. Specifically, the price has risen by about 40% when looking at the price in February 2016. Taking into account that within the Campus of Health Sciences there are several universities, its logical that a bunch of students had decided to move to this area. 

Picture 2. Market price evolution in Armilla over the last five years. Data from Idealista company.

In this graph, we can notice again an uptrend for housing property prices over the last five years. Specifically, there is a 25% rise in this time interval. The three factors commented on early in this post have played an important role in the service equipment for the area and its property price. A trend that was going downwards in the five years prior to the ones showed in the graph, due to the crisis created by the real estate bubble in 2008. 

The armilla city, despite having a bright future ahead, still has important issues to take care of in order to become even more attractive to particular investment in real estate properties. One of the main problems they have is the barrier effect created by the highway that surrounds Granada. This effect limits walking accessibility and creates a hard time for pedestrians to go to Granada on a daily basis. If they manage to overcome this problem with an effective solution, we will be with no doubt speaking of an area with great growth potential for the future. 

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