The type of property sought by wealthy Russian buyers.

Wealthy Russians with properties in Mallorca have shown a preference for sea view properties in Andratx and Calvia. Typical values have been in the region of five million euros. They are rich clients for the island's estate agents, but far from the profile of the likes of Gennady Petrov, the Russian mafia boss who was acquitted of tax fraud and money laundering.

That high-profile case nevertheless sent a message that Mallorca and the Balearics were not safe havens. The Russian oligarchy has therefore shown greater interest in the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol, said to be more "hospitable".

The wealthy owners are described as being one or two rungs below the oligarchs in terms of assets, and their purchase of properties is low compared with other foreign nationals - around two per cent of all foreign buyers. The Russian community in the Balearics is also not great. Latest figures point to there being 2,040 Russians residing on the islands.

The properties in Andratx and Calvia are mostly all for non-residents. They are holiday homes for Russians. There are also some Ukrainian owners, but Hans Lenz, president of the Balearic Association of National and International Real Estate Agents, says that they are "almost non-existent". "There was a Ukrainian industrialist who was looking for a house here a while ago, but we don't know if he finally found it."

Lenz adds that between the two markets - Russian and Ukrainian - "we are talking about one or two sales transactions a year at most".

The honorary consul of the Russian Federation in Mallorca, Sebastià Roig, says that the image of Russians living in the Balearics is generally distorted. It is assumed that they are all rich, but 99% are people from a normal working background, with a good number of them working in education. As to Russian tourists, he adds that they typically have medium to high purchasing power and are very interested in the beaches as well as gastronomy and culture.