Have a look at the Mallorca telephone book: it would be a rollcall for celebrities -the rich and famous – everyone from rock stars to supermodels to royalty to racing drivers – except that they’re all, of course, ex-directory!
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So many and varied are the names of the beautiful people who’ve bought or are buying on this largest of the Balearic islands, that it’s hard to know who’s really here and who’s not, who’s buying and who’s selling, who’s window shopping – and who’s just visiting an equally-famous friend.
In a sense, it doesn’t really matter. It’s the glamour of the names that counts: Robbie Williams, Claudia Schiffer, Tom Cruise, Sir Elton John and David Furnish, Caroline Corr, King of Spain – and the ultimate Hollywood “royalty”, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.
Amongst the most recent arrivals is British fashion and interior designer Matthew Williamson joining star composer, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who bought a beautiful stone finca in Deià some years ago – just ten minutes down the road from the predictably-sumptuous Douglas and Zeta-Jones residence – and who’s already, apparently, been spotted by the paparazzi while arriving at Palma Airport. Not forgetting, of course, Mallorca’s most famous son, Rafael Nadal, whom became the greatest clay-court tennis player the world has ever seen at just 21, and a regular visitor back home to the island.
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What a difference a decade makes. Mallorca has been attracting international buyers since the ‘Thirties. But since the mid-‘Nineties its quiet charm has been replacing the often-brash and always-overcrowded predictability of the Côte d’Azur and the Costa del Sol, particularly Marbella. And why? The answer is simple: it gives exhausted celebrities what they want most – privacy. Because, ironically, what most stars want more than anything else when they’re away from the spotlight is to hang out in jeans and a tee-shirt and be treated just like anyone else – for a few months of the year at least. When that novelty wears off, they’re back on board their private jets and off …
The reality is that celebrities are no novelty to the island. Mallorcans have seen it all before, starting with composer Frederic Chopin and author Georges Sand in the 1830s. So once the likes of Boris Becker or Steve McFadden – Phil Mitchell from Eastenders – run the gauntlet of the airport paparazzi, they’re generally left at home to enjoy a bit of peace and luxury.
And luxury there is aplenty. While property prices on the Spanish mainland are recovering slowly, the market in Mallorca – is rosy-cheeked with good health and affluence.
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Multi-million-euro super-luxury ultra-secure villas have become routine – with the most expensive weighing in at around €50 million. And with capital appreciation like that, the more you pay, the more you gain. Think of it as a blue chip investment. So while the average buyer might be pouring over the spec of his new apartment to see if it includes its own parking space – super-rich property-shoppers are more likely to ring their estate agent to see if the seafront villa that’s caught their eye has its own helipad.
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State-of-the-art security and communications are also popular with those who have big money to spend. Everything from security cameras and sensors to heating, lighting and entertainment is computer-controlled and accessible from your laptop or mobile phone while you’re away. It used to be the stuff of science fiction, but increasingly properties in the million-plus bracket are expected to be “intelligent homes”, with all their systems integrated and centrally-controlled, usually from a touch-screen. And developers have seen the competitive edge these systems can give them “There’s certainly a niche demand for this type of property”, Hans Lenz of Engel & Volkers, real estate agents who operate at the top end of the market, told abcMallorca.
“A small number of developers are specialising in these ultra-modern, high-tech houses designed in a very chic, minimalist style” – and they’re finding a healthy market.
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To see more luxury homes for sale on Mallorca, visit the abcMallorca Property Portal now.