Mallorca’s coastal property market 2008

2008 Report (index)

This report on property in Mallorca has been written by Jan Westwood of The Property Finders Mallorca. The Property Finders are buying agents who represent the buyer, not the vendor. For Jan Westwood’s contact details see The Property Finders.

Mallorca’s Coastal Property Market

More than ever before, regional government has come under fire from environmental groups to ensure the island does not succumb to over development and to protect its 555 kilometres of coastline. This is a delicate balance in view of Mallorca’s heavy reliance on the tourist industry – the service sector accounts for almost half of Mallorca’s businesses.

In established coastal resorts, there are long-term plans to demolish and rebuild whole areas.   Consortiums are currently bidding for the controversial regeneration project at Playa de Palma, a massive undertaking involving demolishing old hotels and injecting life into 6 kilometres of seafront between Arenal and C’an Pastilla.  It is due to get underway early 2009 though part of the project, the €3m Palma Aquarium at C’an Pastilla, funded by the Israeli company Coral World, opened to the public in June.

A study by the Ministry for the Environment in Madrid in November reported 730 infringements against the coastal regulations in Mallorca.  The majority involve pools, beach kiosks, car parks or properties/hotels fallen into disrepair or ruin.  Local government  is now undertaking measures to enforce the report’s recommendations – which in some cases will mean demolishing certain structures.

At the same time, specific areas have been identified where no further licences for urbanisations are to be granted, notably Can Vairet (near Port Adriano in Calvia), Muleta in Soller, Cala Marcal in Felanitx and El Vilar in Pollensa.  Montport and Cala Blanca in the municipality of Andratx are also affected.  Furthermore, a part of the half island of Alcanada (Alcudia) is to become protected, bringing the total land area affected to 1,516 hectares.

In the nautical sector, Mallorca now rivals Antibes as the super-yacht hub of the western Mediterranean.  The island now features over 16,000 berths backed by a skilled workforce to repair and refit throughout the year.  There are plans to expand 8 of its 32 harbours, namely CV Puerto Andratx, Cala Gamba, S’Estanyol, Colonia de Sant Jordi, Porto Colom, Cala Bona, CN Cala Ratjada, and Puerto Soller, providing up to 4,500 more berths.  In Port Adriano, a €40m project is underway to expand the marina by 82 berths.  The designer Phillipe Starck is leading the team in the design of the service areas and shoreside facilities.

In 2007, income from visitors pursuing leisure marine activities in the Balearics amounted to €544m, representing a 15% increase over the previous year.  This was derived from almost 300,000 nautical tourists during the year, a figure that has grown steadily and almost doubled since the mid nineties.

According to statistics, Palma now ranks third as a cruising destination in the Mediterranean behind Barcelona and Civitavecchia in Italy.  An investment of €23m was recently announced to build a new jetty in Palma’s West Quay to enable two cruise ships of up to 380 metres long and 30 metres wide to dock at the same time on the same quay. This project will further encourage the “mega” cruise ships to visit Palma and is scheduled to begin operations in spring 2009.

© Jan Westwood (The Property Finders)

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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com.