Luxury homes in Mallorca: What do foreigners demand?
Mallorca is registering record demand for off-plan designer homes, exceeding pre-pandemic records, especially from investors from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria. Currently, the luxury sector on the Island manages more than thirty projects, with a total sales volume of more than 750 million euros in new construction.
Luxury clients, who from next year, will pay more taxes. The Government’s budget for 2022 foresees an increase from 11% to 11.5% of the transfer tax, which is paid on the purchase and sale of homes. It will affect properties worth more than one million euros and, with this measure, the Government aims to “reinforce” the progressivity of this tax in its highest bracket, as explained on Thursday by the Councillor of Finance, Rosario Sánchez.
The most sought-after areas among these exclusive clients are those in the southwest, such as Palma, Calviá and Andratx, according to a well-known architect on the island. “Our clients are looking for sea views, on a plot where they can enjoy landscaped outdoor areas with a swimming pool. In the interiors, they are looking for large spaces, distributed over two floors, if possible without steps dividing the same floor,” he explains.
“There is a tendency for this type of client to look for a plot where there is already a house built in a good location and choose to demolish it to build again from scratch. No new land is consumed but the building is improved,” says the Mallorcan architect. In the last few years the rustic land regulations have undergone changes and set the limit for building at 300 square metres.
The architect assures that the pandemic has also provoked an increase in the number of foreigners looking for a home on the island as a first residence. They tend to prefer detached single-family homes, while those looking for a second home prefer two or three-bedroom flats located close to the city. “Teleworking has meant that many families who used to come to spend a few days on the island have moved to live here. This change allows them to run the business from another country and to travel to their place of origin only for occasional meetings.
In terms of the layout of the property, these exclusive clients demand multi-purpose rooms that can be converted, for example, into an office or a guest room. “The kitchen is a very important element, it has become a social point of the house, being open to the dining room, and also connected to an outdoor kitchen”.
In this sense, the architect points out that for many of these foreign clients it is very important to have a room for working. “They are looking for spaces for teleworking that are acoustically isolated from the rest of the house so as not to interfere with family dynamics, and that the view behind the person in the videoconference is well decorated, as what is seen behind the cameras often constitutes the corporate image of the company”.
Depending on the size of the house, other rooms such as gymnasiums, cinemas, service rooms and, above all, outdoor areas are in demand. “Instead of using dimly lit rooms for storage as in the past, customers are now using them to create their own cinema with high-end loudspeakers, seats and projectors of very good quality.
The confinement of the pandemic has also meant that these types of luxury clients value more than ever having outdoor spaces, such as gardens, swimming pools, and even the most select install a golf putting green on top of the house itself. “Mallorca’s climate has won many people over,” he says.
Foreign clients also appreciate the local materials, such as the exterior and interior walls made of “pedra seca” from Santanyí, or the limestone paving such as “gres balear”. “Those who build a home from scratch to live in mix contemporary materials with natural materials, to create a contemporary Mediterranean style”.