Menorca: some of the best deals in Spanish property?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Menorca: some of the best deals in Spanish property?

In recent years stories about property in the Balearics have been dominated by either Mallorca or Ibiza.

Tourism on both islands goes from strength to strength, Ibiza seems to get ever more fashionable each year that goes by, and their property markets are in much better shape the bulk of the Spanish mainland.

However there's also Menorca, which is worth a closer look for several reasons, as evident from a recent trip A Place in the Sun took there to check out the property deals.

We found out that there had indeed been price falls of 50 per cent, and the affordability of the island also came as a pleasant surprise, with plenty of nice, well-located apartments for between €100,000 and €200,000.

There are 3,500 properties for sale on the island, and none of them are in ghost communities, with fewer than 10 per cent of these are bank repossessions.

We were quite tempted by a compact one-bed apartment pictured here. It's on a charming and quiet little complex near the island's only golf course, Son Parc - it had a little balcony with views towards the communal pool, great views of the green from its spacious roof terrace - only €70,000!

You can get a villa for €200,000, and entry-level for the highly sought-after Cala Llonga enclave of homes (north side of Mahon harbour) is €300,000.

Yes, there are also fabulous high-end properties with stunning views of the harbour, but these have also fallen in price by 30-50 per cent, so you can get a lot more bang for your buck than in Mallorca or Ibiza.

But how does the location compare? There are fewer tourists, fewer full-time inhabitants and fewer flights so this translates to uncrowded beaches, roads and restaurants.

The scenery is beautifully unspoilt and it really is a great place for young families, with gently shelving beaches (Es Grau is fantastic) and crime virtually non-existent.

"The island really has not changed much since I arrived in 1973," says Colin Guanaria, who moved to the island from Harrogate and is now runs the island's biggest property agency, Bonnin Sanso, which has just begun an association with Hamptons International to help promote Menorcan property.

"Twenty years ago the three Balearic islands used to be much more comparable but now they've developed their separate identities, and you can choose which one suits you best - somewhere to party, go to high-end boutiques, or somewhere completely laid-back, even sleepy, with virgin beaches."

Colin sold 214 properties on the island last year with an average price of €283,000, so the property market is certainly not that sleepy: for an in-depth look at the property market in Menorca, buy the summer issue of A Place in the Sun magazine, out on 27th June.

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