Majorca is divided between traditional villages and those who are ‘new build’ in origin. The latter arrived alongside all the hotels and building in the days of boom building for tourism. The interesting feature now is what people in 2021 choose to live in. In the Soller Valley there are few blocks of flats or new build properties. There are plots of land which people own with a right to build on. Sometimes the money and the energy to build on them are taken and a fine new modern house arrives. Those investors who can sit on their land bank are waiting for the rules to change. Then they will build blocks of apartments on their plots again. This whole issue is a local political hot potato.
We listen to so much criticism here of projects which emerge, according to them, out of the blue. This is simply not the case as time taken to research will prove that everything is in the planning procedure for years. Plans are drawn and redrawn over and over again. Years pass and then eventually a building appears, and everyone asks, ‘where did that come from’. This is a big problem for many, who, on principle, do not like change.
Land not currently used for its intended purpose often become our local hotspots. They develop a vibe of their own and many love them. La Base in Puerto Soller was a case in point. This area was years in the planning and in the meantime a ‘Pop Up’ food truck and live music venue sprung up. Most knew that this would only last until the refurbishment of the site and the new buildings started. We loved the spontaneous nature of the place and enjoyed its era. Now many spend time moaning about its demise and replacement with a smart new project. They are not at all interested in the fact that this whole area has taken twenty years to fulfil what was planned and agreed.
Village houses of Soller
Meanwhile back to the houses of Soller. The ‘mid-price range’ seekers of Soller property are all looking for the same thing. A Village house, garden, pool or space to build one. Some want to do a big refurbishment and others want to move in and work on projects gradually. Nothing unusual in any of that except for supply. The mid-range prices here of between 500 and 800 thousand euros will buy a house of that specification, but the race is on. Village houses are so trendy at the moment that the estate agents have to be first off the starting block for their clients.
The investors from Scandinavia, Germany, France and the UK are here with their cheque books. The word mortgage is rarely mentioned, and deals are being done regularly. The canny local investors are one step ahead of all this, and for their projects, the properties rarely hit the estate agents’ books.
Sollerics have always followed the trends and curves of life. A read of the ‘Soul of Soller’ book will tell you (in English) the business brain here. From farming to factories to the Soller Train and Tram and then on to the creation of a high-end tourism world, it is all here. The next trends for Nomad Business Centres are already under construction and will be joined by whatever comes next. Nothing has ever stood still here, and progress will always be made as long as there are funds to allow it.
The Village house phenomena is very interesting as they all come with their inbuilt problems. Stone and cobbled floors and steep staircases are a feature and cause many to regret the purchase as they get older. Some large houses have installed a lift to get to their top floors. Some, recognising this, move before it gets too much for them. Older people, who would never have contemplated leaving their gardens and living in an apartment – do just that.
Soller has many village houses, streets of them and some are for sale. I loved my time living in a village house in the L’horta area of Soller. It worked for us until my husband’s health deteriorated. These days I live in one of the few new build apartments of the area, still in the L’horta amongst my friends and neighbours. I am very fortunate to be able to do that.