5 things you should know about buying property in Mallorca (2024)
The market is stable, but it is changing.
The Balearic island of Mallorca offers a sunny escape in the heart of the Mediterranean. Traditionally an island popular with Germans and Brits, the economic growth on the island has attracted interest from a number of markets.
“From a macroeconomic and global perspective, we’ve seen Mallorca and the larger Balearics see a sharp increase in international buyers,” says UK real estate investor John Harris.
Over the last five to ten years, it seems that a new class of buyer has started to take notice of the stunning surroundings, the exciting new-build projects in Mallorca that perfectly blend traditional Mediterranean and modern design, and the many superyacht marinas scattered along the coasts. While Mallorca offers many rental options, the island lends a sense of community to which international visitors regularly return, especially in Port Andratx in the southwest of Mallorca.
“It used to be a very German market in Port Andratx, but it’s completely changing now,” says Harris. “There have been a lot of British buyers in recent years – they were on hold for a bit after Brexit, but now they are coming back. A lot of Swiss are buying here and there’s a whole Danish and Scandinavian hub growing too.”
“Mallorca is a destination that has grown in popularity and has grown in everything it has to offer,” adds Harris. “It is incredibly cosmopolitan and its gastronomy scene has grown exponentially. All of this attracts a very discerning international buyer looking for a secondary or even tertiary home. You see the stability of this market on a luxury scale and it’s impressive.”
Know what makes your ideal property
For yacht owners, there is no more suitable vacation home than this house in Port Andratx, which is as luxurious as a superyacht. Contemporary interiors with modern amenities balance a Mediterranean, stone-clad exterior, while a 25-meter mooring sits at the end of the staircase-like gardens. Full of character and spacious with six en-suite bedrooms to accommodate guests, this incredible waterfront property is a must-see.
Current owner John Harris says he bought the property after seeing just one picture of it. “When we decided to buy a house, I wanted somewhere without a lot of commuting from Palma, not too German and not too English. We looked at several properties, then this property came on the market,” he says. “I’m very interested in sailing and I also didn’t see the point of going to a Mediterranean island where you didn’t have access to the sea. I said we have to take this opportunity now. So I started the buying process before I even returned to Europe.”
While the properties available on Mallorca are diverse, surprisingly few have immediate access to the water. Harris, who recently put his unique property on the market and has been vacationing in Mallorca for more than 35 years, explains the importance of knowing what to expect from a vacation home.
“The reason I bought it, because I knew it knew the island, was its sheer rarity. I knew the marina – it’s really quiet here and Port Andratx is its own micro-community. Most people come back every year so everyone knows each other and it’s very friendly,” says Harris. “It’s very sociable for the kids and I don’t have to drive them everywhere, they can walk to their friends’ houses and go home completely independently and it’s totally safe.”
There are some idyllic sailing areas.
For those chartering in Mallorca, the restrictions are less than in the rest of Spain. Recent legislation states that yachts registered in non-EU countries are allowed to charter in the Balearic Islands. Furthermore, from January 1, 2018, the Balearic government license required for charters will be valid for two years instead of just one. This, in addition to the thriving Copa del Rey regatta, makes Mallorca an enticing place for sailing.
“There are so many little coves that you can pull in and anchor,” says Harris “There are lots of little hidden ones that you don’t even know are there – the island from the sea is very different to inland. If you go up the west coast there are just lovely little fishing villages, otherwise you just see open pine forests, goats running around and the towns are spread out immensely so it’s not as populated as people think.
“Go to Dragonera, which is on the southwest corner of the island,” Harris continues. “Then go up the west coast where it’s all national park. The penultimate upper northwest corner is Soller and before that is the famous town of Deia, the artistic community whose most famous resident was the poet laureate Robert Graves.
Aside from the stunning anchorages in the Balearics, Mallorca is home to a number of marinas with superyacht facilities, including the Stark Marina in Port Adriano, which can accommodate yachts up to 100 meters and was designed by Phillipe himself. In addition, Club de Vela caters for yachts up to 60 meters in length, while Port de Mallorca can berth yachts up to 50 meters in length. With seemingly endless possibilities, it is understandable why the island is becoming increasingly popular with yachtsmen.
Know what lifestyle you are looking for.
Mallorca is characterized by its varied landscape – mountains, lush evergreen forests, some of the most beautiful golden beaches in the Balearics and vibrant cities can all be found here. The choice and mix of the island is a big attraction, but it’s important to know what you want from your chosen environment before you buy.
“Before anyone buys a house here, find out what lifestyle you want, because there’s a big difference between a house up in the mountains on the west coast and a house in the southwest of Mallorca,” says Harris. “If you have a house in the mountains, you go shopping twice a week, maybe you go hiking and stay with your friends in your house.If you buy a new-build apartment, which is in the southwest of Mallorca, you’re more likely to go to restaurants, stores, beach clubs and bars in the evening.”
In his Port Andratx villa, built in the 1960s, Harris renovated the entire property to his personal specifications. New stone floors stretch across the entire property, while huge, open spaces sprawl from vast corridors. The interior is impressive – most of the bedrooms could be split into two, while the option to sleep atop a vertiginous tower offers guests some of the best views in Mallorca. It is undoubtedly a property for socializing and family occasions, and one of the living areas even has a wine cellar with double-sided glass – the bottles light up at night creating a quirky design. The many levels of outdoor spaces offer a sun terrace with large fabric blinds, a hot tub, a boathouse and a funicular to carry wobbly or tired feet out to sea for a dip.
It is an aspirational goal.
Palma, a rising star in the art world, is a lively cultural center all year round – unlike Ibiza, it doesn’t hibernate. As well as the Galería Pelaires, the oldest walking gallery in Spain, the rustic streets also stretch between extraordinary historical sites such as the monumental 13th-century Palma Cathedral and Bellver Castle. Between the city’s ancient stone walls, however, are a growing number of contemporary establishments that focus heavily on luxury and retain Mallorca’s sophisticated side.
“We have more boutique hotels opening and the world of gastronomy is getting bigger – we now have 10 Michelin star restaurants in Mallorca,” says Harris. “All these factors make Mallorca more attractive to those interested in buying luxury property. Maybe five to seven years ago there wouldn’t have been as many opportunities as there are now.”
“I think the reason many top people are attracted is because of the experience they have had over the last 5-10 years,” Harris continues. “The island has significantly increased its appeal to a level comparable to the best in Europe in terms of quality. Whether it’s food, building, lifestyle opportunities or beach clubs, everything has increased exponentially and that’s why people love coming here.”
Port Andratx in particular offers a unique attraction for those looking to buy new-build apartments in Mallorca. Still a working fishing port, it has retained its Mediterranean charisma. “Here in Port Andratx they try to keep the charm and local culture, but mixed with the international center,” explains Harris. “That’s what a lot of people like, that it’s not a place you have to go to show off, you enjoy the privacy up in your villa and then in five minutes you’re in a nice restaurant on the promenade watching the sunset in the evening.”