There was a drop in property sales in July. | T. AYUGA

The president of the Institute of Real Estate Agents, Natalia Bueno, believes that house prices in the Balearics are reaching a ceiling. This is her explanation for a drop in property sales in July. There was a 21.9% decrease compared with July 2018, the biggest fall in the country. Nationwide, there was a 3.8% rise to 47,890 transactions, the most since May 2008, while in the Balearics there were 1,261.

Figures for the whole year, Bueno adds, will be needed in order to get a clear picture, but those for July do suggest that prices are reaching their maximum. She adds that the institute has been saying for some time that it is impossible to buy a property at a reasonable price. In the centre of Palma, for example, there aren't decent apartments for under 400,000 euros.

Properties which have "a real market price" sell without any problem, and so Bueno recommends that owners obtain genuine valuations; the institute can do these for free.

The latest numbers from the National Statistics Institute point to a moderation in prices. Second quarter figures for the Balearics indicated a 5.3% increase compared with April-June 2018. This was the lowest quarterly rise since the second quarter of 2016.