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Balearic Estates feature in Easy Jet Magazine July 2011 01 July 2011

SINCE THE HEADY DAYS of a property price boom, Spain has seen a major crash, following to the global financial crisis, with prices dropping by up to 40% in some south-coast locations. However, one region that has kept its appeal – and a more stable market – is the Balearic Islands. Prices on Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera may have fluctuated over the past couple of years, but they haven’t suffered the same huge drop seen in other Spanish locations, and increased interest from buyers means prices remain high. “Planning regulations have become a lot stricter in the Balearics, which has reduced oversupply, and that keeps prices up,” explains Toby Trumble of Balearic Estates (balearic-estates.com). “And developers have tended to concentrate on higher-value homes, rather than building large quantities of cheap units.”Trumble says the Balearics’ proximity to mainland Europe, ease of access and good weather attract a wide international mix of investors who are looking for second homes, rental investments or to relocate. Majorca is the most popular destination, because it has more year-round flights and better weather than the other islands, plus a higher level of infrastructure and services. As well as attractive beaches, pretty villages and its stylish capital, Palma, the island offers golf courses, marinas, swanky clubs and quality hotels and restaurants, which attract a glamorous set, including celebrity residents such as Michael Douglas, Annie Lennox and Boris Becker. In addition, the local government is currently attempting to attract Formula 1 to the island, while the upscale Jumeriah Hotels has moved in with a new hotel planned for Port de Soller, both sure signs that the island is still on the up. Studios or one-beds in Majorca start at under €100,000 in the cheap and cheerful resorts of Magaluf and Santa Ponsa, but most enquiries are in the €300,000 to €500,000 bracket, for a larger apartment or villa with a pool; expect to pay much more for anything frontline to the coast. While Majorca appeals across the board, Ibiza tends to attract a younger, more bohemian crowd, many of whom are veterans of the clubbing scene. “Ibiza is beautiful but has a shorter season than Majorca, so isn’t as good for rentals,” explains Hilton, who adds that serious buyers tend to head inland, away from the bustle of Ibiza town and San Antonio. “A lot of high-net worth individuals buy on Ibiza – you see some incredible homes,” says Trumble, “especially around EsCubells, where prices are in excess of €4m. But, as with Majorca, it is possible to find small apartments with one or two bedrooms from €120,000 in busier resorts, such as San Antonio and Santa Eulalia.” From Ibiza you can also access Formentera, usually off the main homebuyer map because it’s only accessible by ferry. Despite having swathes of unspoilt countryside and fabulous beaches, there is only a small tourist trade in high summer and, with no large-scale development, property here is expensive. Prices start at around €500,000, but you can expect to pay €1m to €3m for a spacious villa with land and a swimming pool. If you hunt around, you might be lucky enough to find rare resale apartments from around €200,000 to €400,000, but those who are on a lower budget are better off looking elsewhere. If you have less than €500,000 and your clubbing days are over, quieter Menorca might suit you. Great for families and attractive to retirees wanting a slower pace, property is often better value than on neighbouring islands. However, the downside is that access isn’t as good in winter and the climate is cooler. Because of the older nature of Menorca’s market, you’re more likely to find dated villas or fincas that are ripe for renovation being sold for prices starting at around €300,000. Anything in good condition or with a decent plot of land tends to go for an average of €400,000 upwards. Apartments and small villas in resorts near the capital, Mahon, such as S’Algar, Son Parc or Es Castell can also be snapped up from around €145,000 to €200,000, with anything that has more land from around €250,000, depending on the location, size and views. Further out, the area around Sant Luis, Fornells on the northeast coast and the charming town of Ciutadella on the west coast attract buyers looking for contemporary villas and traditional fincas from around €400,000. Though things are still looking good for the islands as a whole, there is evidence that it has recently become a buyer’s market, as some owners who overextended their fi nances in the boom try to offload unwanted homes. “Over the past year, I have seen more distress sales creeping into the Balearics market,” says Trumble, “so now might be the time to source a bargain. But I wouldn’t advise buyers to wait too long; these islands are still popular and good buys don’t tend to hang around.”

Property in Mallorca  

Balearic Estates offer the finest Property for sale in Mallorca (Majorca), Ibiza and Menorca.

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