Since the 1960’s Mallorca has been popular amongst Brits as a summer holiday destination, which as lead to many British expats packing up their lives in the UK and permanently moving to Mallorca.
Most expats will have visited Mallorca on a vacation before deciding to buy a home on the idyllic island. There are around 880 thousand people living in Mallorca and around 186 thousand of the residents are foreigners, with 16 thousand of them being British expats.
So what brings Brits to Mallorca?
The Sunday Times voted Palma de Mallorca the best place to live in the world among 50 other nominees. One factor taken into consideration was how welcoming Mallorca is to foreigners, which is possibly why so many people decide to up sticks and move there. According to the paper it was also thanks to the fantastic year-round climate. With around 300 days of sunshine every year you cannot deny that it has a fantastic climate. The Mediterranean climate is an irresistible lure, particularly for us Brits, which is proven by the tourism statistics. The paper also commended the contrast in the island’s landscape between the Tramuntana mountains and Caribbean-like beaches to the cultural yet cosmopolitan city of Palma. This contrast leads to a huge lifestyle diversity. To some, it is a tranquil backwater where you can explore the relaxing beaches and quaint rural villages. To others it is an affluent and vibrant destination with a cosmopolitan city lifestyle. The close proximity to Europe and large international airport also makes it a viable location for Monday to Friday commuters.
The Tramuntana mountains are a playground for those wanting to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or cycling. In the cooler months one can enjoy spectacular mountain walks with stunning views. There has also been a cycling boom over recent years thanks to many professional cycling teams such as Team Sky choosing it as a winter training destination. The Balearic government has again embraced this to their advantage and is investing in resources to improve the routes for cyclists and as a result, Mallorca is now home to its own pro cycling tour – the Challenge Mallorca Series.
Mallorca also has very good international schools with high educational standards. There is a mutual healthcare agreement in place between Spain and the United Kingdom which can benefit retiring British expats. For others paying their social security, there is a very good public healthcare system in place. If you want to ensure you have the highest standards of medical care, then there is the option to pay for private medical insurance.
Strong Property Market
Most of the property buying activity in the recent years has come from British, Germans and mainland Spanish looking to relocate to Mallorca or buy second homes because Mallorca has a very strong property market.
One important development in Mallorca is that there has been a change in the type of accommodation that holiday makers are looking for. Many now look to rent privately owned country homes, villas and apartments as opposed to hotel rooms run by larger package holiday providers. There are various websites such as Owners Direct and Air BnB who provide the advertising platform to facilitate both the property owners and travellers with the booking process in return for a small annual fee. Because of this shift in the tourism industry, Brits are able to purchase a property for personal use as well as capital appreciation because expenses for having a second home can be covered by high rental rates during the peak season.
Many high-net-worth individuals now look to invest in property in Mallorca and many areas have become well developed with exclusive properties. Once such area is Port d’Andratx in the southwest of the island. The development of these properties has created a whole industry and also many jobs in local areas for anything related to property. There are numerous companies involved in construction, real estate/letting agents and property maintenance. Some offer complete property management service packages to take care of your property whilst you aren’t there. They will manage the whole process from the initial building/reform of the property, the ongoing management of rentals and they will even take care of your guests via concierge services once you are letting it.
Mallorca is now an established market, which does help with the buying and selling process. There are many laws and set procedures in place and there are also many English speaking legal advisors, surveyors and mortgage consultants to help guide Brits through the buying or development process and uncover any grey areas. The local governments have enforced strict building policies, which means a lot of the coastline is now protected from over-development and there are minimum land size requirements in more urban areas to avoid overspill. Not only do these strict policies protect the environment from overdevelopment but it maintains the market value of the property on the island and as a result, property prices in Mallorca have never fallen. Mallorca therefore remains as a very attractive place to buy a home in Europe.
This small island seems to have so much on offer and is a true gem of the Mediterranean.
Dave Allen is a well-travelled blogger from the UK. He loves to spend a lot of time in Mallorca and is passionate about writing about his experiences and cycling around the Tramuntana mountains. Follow his latest updates on his blog and Twitter.