Menorca has an image of being a covid refuge because it is a territory where the pandemic has penetrated least, and this feeling has reinforced the island's real estate market. It has not sold more than the previous two good years, but one business professional acknowledges that July and August have compensated for the paralysis of the previous three months of inactivity.
Rustic properties and luxury villas are the main operations closed in the summer. From the consultation made to seven real estate agencies, some of insular scope and the others located in Ciutadella, Maó and one in Sant Lluís, the same opinion can be seen.
Between all of them, they have sold seven llocs for prices that oscillate between 2.5 and 4.5 million, according to the prices that they declare. Another "very powerful and very expensive", according to the definition of the property, is now being negotiated.
What does not change is the identity of the buyers. Of the three properties sold by an age group from Ciutadella, two of the buyers are Spanish and the third is French. Of this same nationality is the new owner of a property sold by another real estate agency of Ciutadella in the zone of Ets Alocs de Ferreries.
Therefore, the tendency of the investors and the origin of the same ones is maintained. The restrictions on British tourism, first, and German tourism, later, have translated into less economic movement with tourists coming from abroad, except for the French.
"In Europe there is a lot of money and people have now realised the fragility of human nature and at the same time Menorca has been valued as a good place of refuge," analyses Joan Torres, of Bonnin Sansó. The French clientele in particular, who are asking for stately homes, "have been interested in the most expensive property we have," he said.
He assures that he has closed quite a few operations of more than a million, "it has been sold intensively, there are people who thought of going to the Caribbean or other destinations and have not been able to and therefore have discovered Minorca and want this territory as a base," he adds.
This impression of "carpe diem" unleashed by the coronavirus is also shared by Joan Villalonga, from Fincas Llonga's. "He has bought many clients from Madrid, who want a house with a swimming pool, it seems that they have rediscovered the island, the good things are being sold at a good price to buyers with high purchasing power". Also noteworthy is the search for stately homes and seafront villas, which are both selling for over a million.
Estefanía Medina, from Fincas Marivent, who works in this segment, acknowledges that she would like to have more of these types of properties in view of the demand she has registered. She affirms that during the confinement she made a very expensive sale and Lluís Armengol, from the real estate agency of Maó of the same name, points out that in the middle of the confinement he also sold a villa in Torre-solí. He attributes it to the suffering that many people had during that period, "afterwards, those who could afford it, looked for houses with terraces, they didn't know what it was like to have a bad time until then", he says.
The same optimism is expressed by Isabel Petrus, from Casas en Menorca, "we were expecting a bad year and good sales have been made, especially of individual chalets, people want a safe haven". She adds that the image of security is what has brought people with more purchasing power this year".
There have been sales transactions of a villa in Cala Llonga for two million and a house in Es Murtar for one million, although most of the transactions have moved in the half-million range.
There are also liberal professionals who have bought houses on the island in order to be able to work remotely for some seasons or in view of the increasingly unlikely risk of another period of confinement.
The slight optimism that has been felt in the property market during these two months does not, however, hide the network of prudence that is spreading over economic activity. "The respite will be temporary, GDP has collapsed and the economy's figures are catastrophic," warns Armengol.