One of the major charms of the island is that it consciously avoided attracting the cheap, package tourist market back in the 70s and 80s–there are no high-rise three-star hotels and apartment blocks. It was named a UNESCO biosphere zone in 1993 to ensure its cultural heritage, countryside and coastline are protected. Nearly twenty-five years later, the fruits of this protected status are obvious. Aside from the towns and villages, vast swathes of the landscape and coast remain completely undeveloped.
Property sales on the island have really picked up in the past few years. During the crisis activity inevitably decreased but recent interest has seen prices returning to pre-2008 levels. And they’ve have risen very quickly. However, when compared with equivalent properties in Mallorca, Menorca still looks very good value. The average sales price achieved by our office in Mahón during 2015 and 2016 was 850,000 EUR; to put that in context, average prices in Mallorca across our 16 offices on the island have now gone over 1.1m EUR. What’s more, you can buy a two-bedroom apartment with sea views in an area such as Na Macaret for just over 200,000 EUR while a four-bedroom villa with sea views is currently on the market in Binibequer for 785,000 EUR. It’s almost impossible to find a comparable at the same price, and in the equivalent areas, in Mallorca.
While Menorca has always been popular with British buyers, it’s the French, in particular, who have recently discovered the island. Two years ago they started buying, and, according to our agents on the ground, they haven’t stopped. Today there are direct flights in the summer from five French towns–and these links are set to grow. Flights from the UK are on the increase, too, with the latest additions including a Jet2 service from London Stanstead and British Airways, which already operates a route out of Heathrow, is also starting a new route from Edinburgh this summer.
The local government’s strict legislation means that no areas of Menorca will be developed outside zones already mapped out in towns and villages. However, the attractive, historic old towns of Mahon and Ciutadella have a great deal of potential and are currently seeing a growing demand for property.
About the author: Arabella Youens is a freelance editor and journalist based in London. Having studied at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and worked both for a summer in Palma and a year in Barcelona, she speaks good Spanish and covered the top-end property marketing the Balearics for over ten years while she was Property Editor of Country Life magazine. Today, she continues to write about property and interiors across a variety of titles including The Telegraph, Country Life, London’s Evening Standard, City AM, Homes & Gardens and Country & Town House.