Sóller with its harbour and mountains offers variety year-round, explaining why so many artists and island aficionados have settled here. The properties on offer are varied, ranging from village cottages and villas with breathtaking views to rustic country fincas. Those who have taken the narrow winding road over the pass will remember the impressive moment when the orange valley suddenly appears below them. The stunning combination of mountains and sea, traditional houses with their sandy stone facades and the fertile land account for the magic of this place. It’s not without reason that the area around Sóller, with its mountains and harbour, and the northwest coast from Deià to Valldemossa ranges among the most sought-after and most expensive real estate locations on the island. It is not only the beauty of nature, however, that makes Sóller so attractive. There are multiple factors that influence the property market of this region.
The coastline has never been overbuilt, thanks to its rocky and steep formation, and remains unspoiled. The mountains and natural harbour of Sóller never offered enough space for uncontrolled growth and protective building regulations have been strictly enforced. There are very few plots for sale, leaving the current market limited to existing structures. Most availiabe is property needing extensive and expensive repair, or newlyrenovated properties that change hands at a considerably higher price.
The small town of Sóller has a unique charm with its grand, shady Plaza Constitución and small, narrow streets. One of the main attractions is certainly the journey on the historic train from Palma to Sóller and a ride in the open trams (which were once delivered from Lisbon), connecting Sóller with the harbour every 15 minutes.
The real estate market is remarkably versatile; beautiful town palaces and village houses in the Spanish nouveau (Modernismo) style are offered in the local real estate agencies, as well as executive, luxuriously renovated apartments. “The price for a renovated house of 120 sqm in Sóller starts at around 360.000 Euro”, says Inez Vanbeylen, of the real etate agent Costa Deià, “while apartments are on the market from 80.000 to 100.000 Euros for 70 sqm.” Many of the houses with their imposing facades have large patios with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Sóller is no place for bargain-hunters though. While prices are more reasonable inland than on the coast, one can still find good value for money. An advantage of Sóller’s location is its proximity to Palma, which can be reached comfortably in 15 minutes, thanks to the completion on the Palma-Soller tunnel several years ago. Furthermore, Sóller offers all the amenities of a vibrant town: shopping facilities, schools, and cultural diversity and nightlife. Restaurants, shops and most village hotels stay open all year and those who prefer to do without a car can easily get around by tram and the train. Nature lovers can enjoy both the surrounding mountains as well as the nearby sea and beach.
Just above Sóller is the charming village of Fornalutx, which was elected “most beautiful village of Spain” many times.
The majority of stone-built houses have been lovingly restored, and great care is taken to keep housefronts tidy and colorful with freshly-painted shutters and a multitude of plants and flowerpots. The narrow, cobblestone lanes add to the charm and the views over the valley and surrounding mountains are breathtaking. This fairtytale village is a dream, resulting in a very limited number of properties for sale. These facts make Fornalutx one of the most expensive locations in this region, surpassed only by the village of Deià. Houses of approx. 100 sqm to 150 sqm, for example, start at 400,000 – 500,000 Euro.
In the natural harbour of Puerto de Sóller, apartments used to be quite affordable until recently. The plan to build a tunnel below the road alongside the harbour and develop it into a promenade have caused prices to rise already. The few properties that still remain for sale will undoubtably increase further upon completion of this waterfront project, and these facts make the Puerto de Soller very interesting for potential investors.
The villas situated in the mountains high above the harbour enjoy marvellous sea views and are set on beautiful, very private plots, which is one of the reasons why the entry prices start in the range of about 600,000 Euros, with almost no limit beyond that.
A bit further down the coast, the picturesque village of Deià has been a favourite spot amongst artists, musicians and writers. Some of the best restaurants on the island, including the luxurious hotel La Residencia, and the yearly international music festival featuring international stars attract an exclusive crowd. Almost all of the houses here have seaviews, and pools if situated outside of the village itself. Demand, however, far exceeds supply and there are very few properties for sale. This leads to a market situation where small apartments might well cost 350,000 Euros.
Valldemossa Last but certainly not least, is equally stunning and very popular with commuters from nearby Palma. Well-known thanks to the famous monastery and the culture centre Costa Nord, which offer a season of exquisite concerts each summer, the village is buzzing with tourists during the day but returns to its quiet self by night. Therefore, families live well and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. George Sand Urbanization is one of the few newly-built urbanisations on the northwest coast, and although the structures are a bit modern, they successfully blend into the surrounding countryside.
Clearly the northwest coast has much to offer. While it lacks large, sandy beaches, it has plenty of unspoilt nature, picturesque villages, top-class restaurants and finca hotels, culture and, most importantly, the character and beauty of the original Mallorca.
The people buying property here tend to be eager to find privacy without pretention and even celebrities can stroll around places like Deià and Sóller without being bothered. Unobtrusiveness and tranquillity are what attract most to Sóller and its surroundings. “Sóller focuses on its nature, and it profits from it” said Franz Kraus when we met him in his ice cream garden in Sóller (see Community and business success) – “Economy by ecology is the buzzword” and this respect for nature is exactly what has protected this area of Mallorca.