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Menorca Magic

06.08.22

The Balearic Island of Menorca is renowned for its stunning nature and highly protected environment that has earned its reputation as a Mediterranean paradise for buyers of holiday properties from all over Europe. Buyers love the serenity, authenticity, and natural beauty of Menorca which has grown even stronger since the outbreak of the pandemic. Demand for real estate in secluded locations was especially high in 2021, according to the latest Engel & Völkers Market Report for Menorca 2021/22. “Last year saw a rise in demand for properties of all types, from apartments through to country estates. There was considerably more activity in the premium segment with increased interest in villas directly by the sea and estates with substantial plots of land,” says Gary Hobson, Managing Director of Engel & Völkers Menorca.

Interest from the UK is higher than ever

According to Engel & Völkers with two property shops on the island in Mahón and Ciutadella, although the UK is currently the third-largest buyer group on the island behind the Spanish and French, in the first six months of 2022, UK internet enquiries rose by 72%.  In 2021 British buyers made up 16% of Engel & Völkers sales (15% in 2019 and 27% in 2018).  The Spanish Airports Authority (AENA) confirms in their latest statistics that the UK remains the top international visitor group (157,000 visitors January-June 2022).

Comments Hobson: “In 2018 UK buyers were our principal international buying group and a combination of Brexit and weak sterling dampened their interest.  However, this year we are seeing a lot more British looking and internet requests from the UK are higher than ever.

Many of our clients are tending to invest more in properties in popular locations – with a view to offering them as holiday rentals to generate additional income. This also means properties that have an existing holiday rental licence are in particularly high demand”.

High demand in all locations across the island

The picturesque island capital of Mahón is one of the most sought-after locations to own a property.  Homes by the harbour in Mahón – one of the longest natural harbours in the world at almost five kilometres in length – are particularly desirable. Apartments in the palm tree-lined streets around the harbour commanded average prices of approximately 400,000 euros last year, while exclusive townhouses average 600,000 euros. Beachfront villas in the surrounding villages of Binidali, Es Canutells, Es Grau, Sa Mesquida and Cala Rata are also in high demand, with average sales prices of 1.5 million euros.

The traditional municipalities of Ferreries, Es Mercadal, Migjorn Gran and Alaior, located inland, are known for their authentic Mediterranean atmosphere and historic country estates. In 2021, sales prices for such properties in the most sought-after locations in Es Mercadal averaged 3 million euros. The strong interest here also centres on exclusive apartments and villas sold for average prices of 250.000 euros and 1 million euros respectively.

To the east of the island lies the municipality of Es Castell with its picturesque harbour, quintessential white cottages, and idyllic sandy beaches. The capital of the same name and the town of Sant Lluís also rank among the most desirable locations in Menorca along with Biniancolla where apartments commanded average prices of 400,000 euros in 2021. Estates in very good locations outside of urban areas sold for 1.8 million euros on average.

The island's former capital of Ciutadella is now Menorca's second principal town with a rich cultural history in its Old Town with narrow cobbled streets, brightly coloured bougainvillaea and the island's famous cathedral. At prime addresses in the Old Town, apartment prices averaged approximately 300,000 euros last year. Meanwhile, townhouses sold for an average of 700,000 euros. In the nearby coastal hotspots Son Xoriguer and Cala Morell, villas with sea views commanded average sales prices of 2.5 million euros.

One of the best examples of sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean

The island's local government has a strict policy of preserving and maintaining the island's unspoilt natural beauty and a remarkable diversity of flora and fauna in 1993, UNESCO declared the island a biosphere reserve. “Menorca is one of the finest examples of sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean. Great efforts have been made here to ensure a long-term balance between human development and the environment. There is a strong overall emphasis on tradition, regionality and preservation of the island's natural beauty while maintaining high quality,” says Hobson, adding: “Among other things, Menorca's gastronomy is thriving and uniquely diverse that this year it has been declared the European Destination of Gastronomy”.

Outlook: Demand set to keep rising; moderate growth in prices expected

Engel & Völkers anticipates that demand for real estate on the Balearic Island will increase further. The sheer beauty of Menorca will continue to attract property buyers, along with the island's reputation as a peaceful retreat by a sustainability policy that will maintain strong demand for holiday properties. Consequently, sustained price development in the premium market is anticipated throughout the year.

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