Living in the city centre

What is it like to live in the centre of a big city? The main benefit of these urban areas is the access to basic services such as public transport, schools, health centres, supermarkets and shops but also to leisure, culture and restaurants as well as the proximity to buildings or monuments of historical interest.

Living in the most central district is usually more expensive than in other areas of the metropolis, not only due to the cost of services, but also of housing. Buying a house in the central district of Seville is 51.8% more expensive than in the rest of the city. It is followed by Abando in Bilbao, where the supply of properties has prices 43% higher than the average; the centre of Madrid (+42.7%), Palma’s Ciutat Antigua (+38.9%) or Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella (+3.5%) are some examples, according to the prices published in Idealista.

With regard to the disadvantages of living in the centre of a large city, we find that these are highly populated areas, with hardly any parking areas, more pollution and usually frequented by tourists. To this we must add that the property for sale is unlikely to be newly built due to the lack of available land.

Alternatives to living in the centre of big cities

If you are looking for good public and private transport connections to the historic centre but without living in the centre, there are neighbourhoods in some of these capitals where housing prices are less expensive. We propose four alternatives in Madrid, Bilbao, Palma and Seville.

Tetuán in Madrid

This district has become very fashionable in recent years, so much so that the high demand has boosted the price of housing by 4% at the close of 2022, when it reached its historical maximum according to the real estate portal. Despite this, its prices are almost 2,000 euros below the price per square metre in the centre.

Tetuán combines the residential area of taverns and shops with the proximity to the financial epicentre of Azca or Torre Europa. Calle Orense is one of the favourites, right where we have a spectacular Homes property for sale that is being refurbished.

Indautxu in Bilbao

Together with Abando, they are the two most exclusive neighbourhoods in Bilbao, although in Indautxu it is possible to buy a flat for around 200 euros per square metre more cheaply. It is interesting to note that data from Idealista show that the neighbourhood’s buying and selling market has been falling for several consecutive months, while the rental market has been rising steadily.

Making this area your neighbourhood has multiple benefits. Apart from the wide cultural and commercial offer and the proximity to the most emblematic points of the town, it is characterised by a lively nightlife. This 124 square metre exterior flat is located next to the Indautxu Metro station and the Doña Casilda de Iturrizar Park.

Santa Catalina in Palma

Palma is the fourth most expensive city in Spain to buy a house, the price per square metre is over 3,000 euros and it is the provincial capital that has risen the most in the last year, up to 12.5% according to the Registrars’ Yearbook 2022.

Is it possible to find more affordable prices if we avoid the centre? The Santa Catalina neighbourhood is the answer. Buyers can save more than 400 euros per square metre in this area, the main residential area. A property with a terrace like this would be ideal in a neighbourhood with a promenade next to the port.

Nervión in Seville

Best known for housing the Sánchez Pizjuan football stadium or the Cruzcampo brewery, in Nervión you can enjoy the tradition of Seville and the comfort of modern life. Good transport connections make it very easy to get from here to the centre of the capital. The difference between the prices of property for sale is 500 euros per square metre compared to living in the centre.

For these reasons, Homes by Gestilar has found in this neighbourhood the perfect location for your new family home if you are looking for at least three bedrooms: in Calle Lionel Carvallo, Calle Luis Montoto and Avenida San Francisco Javier.