People in the EU are increasingly choosing to sell up and move to the Balearics. Some 2.3 million 'foreign' people from across Europe are officially now registered in Spain, and 133,740 of these are located in the Balearics. Making up 12.5 per cent of the Islands' inhabitants, it seems overseas buyers are becoming the dominant force in the Balearic property market.
Speaking to Balearics Sotheby's International Realty, Kate Mentink, founder and president of Europeos por Espana, said: "Taken from the latest 2012 census the figure of 133,740 EU nationals, almost 100,000 of those living in Mallorca, is an increase on the 2011 total of 130,385 and an even bigger increase on the 2010 figure of 109,026 – due in part to Bulgaria and Romania’s accession to the EU a few years earlier in 2007."
Germans are also active in the market, with 36,758 officially registered in the Balearic Islands, followed by the British at 23,804 and the Italians with 18,385. Of these, the average age of those choosing to make their lives in the country has dropped to below 40 - a massive change from 15 years ago when the Balearics attracted a primarily over 60s market. However, there has been a slightly different picture emerging internationally, especially outside of prime property segments. With the financial crisis driving up the cost of living, many non-Europeans living in the Balearics have chosen repatriation.
Daniel Chavarria Waschke, managing director of Sotheby’s International Realty, commented: "Traditionally our clients were wealthy discerning Europeans who were choosing to relocate for a peaceful retirement in the sunshine. Today, whilst that market of course exists, they are joined by younger couples or families looking for a change in lifestyle encouraged by the Balearics’ low crime rates, excellent schooling and good sense of community – all in year-round warm weather. Being able to enjoy an outdoor existence on the beach, golf course or out on the water is something most Northern Europeans crave and the Balearics offer all this and more."