STAFF REPORTER A PROPERTY watchdog investigating what is in demand in the real estate market in Spain this year, has reported that in the Balearics people are mostly calling for three-bedroomed flats costing around 223'000 euros.

The watchdog said that this price is slightly below that which people in the rest of Spain are prepared to pay for a similar property - 231'209 euros. The report based on internet research undertaken in the second half of 2008 concluded that people in the country are looking for larger but cheaper property, suggesting an optimistic edge to the current economic crisis. Juanra Dora, director of property search engine facilisimo.com said yesterday that he sees the findings strike a hopeful note as some people are seeing today's economic climate as a good moment to make a home purchase.

The Balearics meanwhile remains one of the most expensive places in the country to buy a three-bedroomed property after Catalonia, the Basque Country, Madrid and Navarre.