25 May, 2017 @ 14:50
2 mins read

This summer in Mallorca is going to be a busy one, writes OP columnist Amanda Butler

STAR GAZING: Mallorca Observatory could be sold

MAY in Mallorca has given us some fabulously sunny weather, and as the mercury rises visitor numbers seem to be matching the predicted upward trend for this year.

The centre of Palma was seriously busy this weekend with restaurants fit to burst and car parks overflowing…and we’re still only in Spring!

BUSTLING: Palma tourists flock in
BUSTLING: Palma tourists flock in

A reported 30,000 extra hire cars are due on the island’s roads this year. Apparently they are needed, so we are all holding our breath for what is being predicted to be an even busier season than last year, which saw 13 million tourists visiting the Balearics.

To say I am concerned about the impact on the island’s infrastructure is an understatement!
As visitor numbers increase, it would be natural to anticipate increased numbers of property sales.

Well, according to the latest official statistics – after a slight dip in February of 3.4% (perhaps due to a rather wet and chilly month – but at least the empty reservoirs were replenished), the Balearics had the second highest number of sales for March, showing an increase of 39.4% of sales compared to 2016.

And, best of all, despite Brexit and currency fluctuations, etc, etc British buyers are still making up approximately 26% of foreign sales, with the German market still the largest, accounting for 40%, with Scandinavians sneaking up from behind.

It is understandable, of course, that there may be some procrastination among the Brits due to the UK election in the coming weeks, but with the result currently looking like a foregone conclusion, it is thought the increased strengthening pound will not be affected too much.

Need a hotel
So what’s been happening on the ground property wise? Well it’s been an interesting few weeks for MJC Associates.

We have been working on several requests for hotels in the Old Town of Palma, as well as the southwest with sea views – little change there!

With the current popularity of the island, anything of a substantial size is now being priced with wholly unrealistic optimism or has ‘just been’ snapped up by deep-pocketed Scandinavian investors it seems!

The last overpriced property we saw in the centre of Palma needed completely gutting and was being offered at €20m for only 3000 sqm! Hmmm dream on …

So it’s not an easy brief at this present moment, which is a shame since several international hotel groups have finally realised that Mallorca is THE place to be (perhaps too late?) – so if there’s anyone with either an existing or potential hotel they have for sale, in a decent location, please let me know!

Looking for stars

Another interesting project of ours is trying to find a buyer for the Mallorca Observatory which has recently gone into liquidation.

STAR GAZING: Mallorca observatory on sale
STAR GAZING: Mallorca observatory on sale

We understand it would be possible to upgrade or convert it to add accommodation in order to attract international buyers.  But it would be a terrible tragedy though for the island to lose such an important facility – so if you know anyone with an interest in the stars please do get in touch.

It is offered at a bargain price in the interest of maintaining it for our future use – offers in the region of €1.8m would be considered, covering only the debt.

Amanda Butler

Amanda has grown up and lived all over the world, but settled in Mallorca more than 15 years ago. Originally from the UK, she is a well known figure on the island, having run successful property business MCJ Associates for many years.

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