Europe's multi-millionaires have turned the tables on the top end of the Majorcan property market. As property prices ran away with themselves over the past few years, Majorca's ability to compare with real estate markets in other areas of Spain and the Mediterranean suffered, but real estate sources in Palma say that Europe's rich have turned the tables on the market and the multi-million pound property market is moving steadily along. Ironically, one of the factors which has given the millionaire-set food for thought has been the advent of the no-frills airline, operating regular routes to Palma from some of Europe's main cities. While in the nineties the foreign property market was dominated by people looking for a second home, the surge in real estate prices at the turn of this century, stopped people in their tracks and made them think again. According to real estate sources in Palma, the punters have had a long thought and reached a new conclusion, sell up and move to Majorca and keep a small property or apartment in London, Munich or wherever and commute. There is a growing number of top business executives and highly paid professionals who are jetting back to work on Monday and returning home to Majorca on Friday night for the weekend. There is also no shortage of wealthy people who have retired early looking for a top of the market property in Majorca. Just look at the marinas, there is no shortage of money and these people never get hit by recession, sources in the real estate business said this week. But, while it is business as usual at the top end of the market, the middle market is slow with so much competition. Property prices in the Balearics are still some of the highest in Spain. According to Fundacion La Caixa's annual report, the average price of property in the Balearics last year was 219.561 pesetas per square metre, the fourth most expensive in Spain after the Basque Country, Madrid and Catalunya. By contrast the national average price of property in Spain was 171.436 pesetas per square metres and as low as 83.773 pesetas per square metre in Extramadura and 94.268 pesetas in Castilla La Mancha. The figures provided by La Caixa match those published by the Sociedad de Tasación, the association of property valuers. Palma house prices rose by 18'1 per cent last year, twice the national average rise in house prices with the cost of new housing in coastal areas, such as Palma, Malaga, Ciutadella and Fuengerola, rising by an average of 10.4 per cent last year.
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