There’s a reason why some of the biggest celebrity names have flocked to the island of Mallorca over the decades and it’s not simply because glorious sunshine can be guaranteed for most of the year. In fact historically, Mallorca was always the playground of discerning and distinguished visitors, many of whom set up residence on the island, drawn by the idyllic landscape, rugged mountains, fine sandy beaches, and orchards brimming with olives, almonds, oranges and lemons.
Back in the 19th century Frederic Chopin and his lover writer, George Sand, spent a year in the northwest village of Valldemossa, while in the 1920’s prolific English writer Robert Graves set up home in the beautiful mountain village of Deia, which in turn attracted scores of well known writers and artists to the area. Since then the cognoscenti have been visiting Mallorca in droves, with an increasing number of international visitors choosing to relocate to the island.
In more recent times, personalities such as supermodel Claudia Schiffer, actors Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones and the likes of composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber and author Jeffrey Archer have made the island their home while regularly commuting to key international destinations for their work.
While the Spanish mainland is still suffering from a depressed economy that has sent real estate prices plummeting – in some cases as much as 50 per cent or more – Mallorca has bucked the trend and is enjoying a property buying resurgence with thousands of new investors heading for its golden shores. As evidence of the buoyancy of the market since 2008 house prices in Mallorca have risen by nearly 40 per cent and by 16 per cent in the last 12 months, outperforming highly desirable and exclusive areas such as Kensington and Chelsea in London. It’s therefore not surprising that Mallorca’s residential sales apparently now account for 25 per cent of the overall market in Spain and prices for high end residences continue to rise year on year.
All the same one must be realistic. While prime, luxurious villas and traditional fincas with fantastic vistas, pools and exclusive access are in great demand – you can get an overview here- Increasingly canny foreign buyers knowing how their investments will appreciate, are snapping up the best properties on the island with the Germans, British, Swiss, Scandinavians and Russians heading the list. Many of those buying luxury homes are attracted by the first class amenities and infrastructure that the island has to offer such as air and transport links to major European cities, as well as excellent private and state healthcare, international schools and low crime rate. Of course Mallorcans also have a rich cultural identity and having welcomed countless holidaymakers of all nationalities over the years, are always warm and gracious in the way they receive new international residents.
When it comes to property buying investors can’t go far wrong with the veritable Garden of Eden that is Mallorca. Home is certainly where the heart is and it would be hard to beat a heavenly bolt hole on what Santiago Rusiñol, the 19th century Catalan writer and artist, described as ‘the island of calm’. But of course would-be buyers should take heed of renowned American writer, Gertrude Stein, whose warning words – full of delicious irony – to writer Robert Graves were ‘It’s paradise – if you can stand it.’
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