Updated in February 2016
The tourism powerhouse of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca (or Majorca) really does offer something for everyone.
Whether you want a lively nightlife, family-friendly beach resorts, a glitzy place to moor your yacht or a stunning mountain range for biking or hiking you can have it, mostly all within a 90-minute drive.
With a tourism industry that is over 150 years old, Mallorca offers dozens of marinas, five-star hotels, golf courses, sports centres (Rafa Nadal is opening one in the near his home town on the east coast) and beach clubs.
It might not be as fashionable as Ibiza but its infrastructure is far more developed and the island is served by a far greater number of flights.
Unlike both Ibiza and Menorca it is a popular year-round destination with a good choice of winter flights – and this is especially true around Palma in the south-west, which offers an array of international schools for the cosmopolitan expat population.
Property hunters from around the world have driven up prices and 2015 saw the first increases at the high end since the property crash. Prices are generally higher than on the mainland – but here is a quick guide.
Where to Buy Property in Mallorca
South West Mallorca
Offering the island’s capital, Palma, and the international airport, the south-west corner of the island is the most populous and also the most glamorous hub.
The principal (and only) city of Palma has evolved in recent years into a fashionable city – a mini Barcelona - with new boutique hotels, a new superyacht marina and lively regenerated neighbourhoods of beautiful period apartments. You can get a small apartment without any outside space for €200,000 but you’ll pay north of €300,000 for a two-bed nicely renovated one.
Santa Catalina is very hip and bohemian, Portixol very sought-after, as is the old town.
Affluent enclaves nearby include Puerto Andratx and the exclusive gated community of Son Vida nearby. The charming fishing village of Puerto Andratx is only 20 minutes from Palma and whilst you can get waterfront villas for multiple millions, you can get a small two-bed apartment for around €185,000. At the golf course of Camp de Mar there you’ll pay €500,000 for a two-bed townhouse overlooking the course.
Expect to pay find larger properties at larger prices at the residential estate of Son Vida, located on a hilltop five minutes from Palma with a golf course. Properties are highly sought after - a four-bed villa will cost around €1 million but there are trophy homes for ten times that (and more).
Historically an area very popular with the island’s substantial German community, the east coast offers arguably the best sandy beaches of the island – and also some of the better value property options. Cala D’Or, Porto Colom and Porto Cristo are three popular beach areas.
Porto Colom and Porto Cristo are both traditional fishing villages with a natural harbour and are popular with British second home-owners for their lack of commercialization and karaoke bars.
In these areas you can buy a two-bedroom apartment for around the €200,000 mark. You’ll pay nearer €250,000 for a beachfront one with views. Expect to pay around €700,000 for a four-bed detached villa a little inland, or around €2 million for a new bespoke finca (farmhouse) style home.
Cala D’Or, a purpose-built resort bisected by the marina of Cala Llonga, is slightly livelier and a little smarter, but still low key compared to Magaluf and Palma Nova. You can get a studio apartment for €80,000, or a good choice of two-bedders for around €180,000.
The craggy and dramatic north coast of the island drops down from the Tramuntana mountain range that runs along its spine. Less accessible – via switchback roads around the peaks – the north is less developed and very exclusive in parts – most of it not covered by the big tour operators.
Artistic but tiny Deia is chic and home to more than its fair share of celebrities, despite its lack of easily reached beaches (apartments from around €250,000, fincas from €1 million) and nearby Valldemossa is another quaint mountain village oozing with charm.
You can get a three-bed village house in need of renovation for around €300,000 – or a two-bed one nicely restored. Or – in need of rather more TLC - there’s a 250-acre estate belonging to Michael Douglas available for $60 million.
Nearby Fornalutx and Soller offer a bit more choice and affordability and are both charming villages tucked between the orange groves carpeting the hillsides. Expect to pay from €200,000 for a townhouse to refurbish; €350,000 to €400,000 for a three or four-bed home ready to go; or nearer €1 million for something exceptional.
Further east is the British enclave of Pollensa – a lovely town at the edge of the mountains that is popular with cyclists training for the Tour de France, well-heeled tourists (the Camerons holidayed there a couple of years ago) and outdoorsy families. You can get a townhouse in the old town for €250,000 if it needs TLC, or nearer €400,000 if is nicely renovated. Properties in the town are in big demand for holiday rentals, according to HomeAway.com.
Nearby, Puerto Pollensa – the part of the town on the edge of the Bay of Pollensa - is especially popular for its sandy beaches and marina; plus Alcudia, the next stop south, famed for its 8km long shallow bay with plenty of watersports that makes it very popular with families. You can get a two-bedroom apartment within 400m of the beach in a complex for around €130,000.
Outside Palma there are lots of popular picture-postcard villages with home owners attracted to the interior for its greater authenticity than the coastal resorts. The centre of the island is an easy half hour into Palma, or the airport, less to the beach.
Popular villages are Alaro, Santa Maria and Selva - in the latter you can get a townhouse for €300,000 but many buyers are seeking the finca outside the village – around €1 million for proximity to these desirable villages.
Towards Pollensa, there’s also Campanet and the beautiful area of ‘Shampoo Valley” – so named due to the cluster of home belonging to the CEOs of corporations such as Weller and Schwarzkopf – average villa around €5 million.
Buyers Need to Know
The buying process is the same process as mainland Spain but purchase taxes (Impuesto de Transmisión Patrimonial or ITP) are specific to the Balearics:
- Amount payable on purchase price up to €400,000 – 8%
- Amount payable from €400,001 to 600,000 – 9%
- Amount payable from €600,001 upward – 10%