Seasonal Change and Growth
As we descend from the precipice of summer’s height, the property market shifts its demographic, somewhat, from the purchase of holiday homes, to local investment following a, hopefully lucrative, season of hard work. Traditionally, islanders looking to purchase real estate are more concerned with square meterage than aesthetics and are inclined toward purchasing inland where more can be bought for the Euro and there is land for further development. Recent Government schemes to help young couples get onto the property market may prove to buck this trend a little, however, houses and detached properties remain the most attractive to locals who often embark on a project of restoration over the winter months.
Data from the General Council of Spanish Notaries showed national average prices falling 1.9% over 12 months to the end of June, whilst figures from the leading appraisal company in Spain, showed the average index in mainland, coastal areas up by 0.3% in July ccompared to the same period last year. Specifically, prices in the Balearics rose by 1.7% which is still down 29.25 from the highs of almost a decade ago. Only the Canaries have matched the demand in the Balearics whilst mainland prices have fallen some 47.5% from their peak. There has been a resurgence of interest in new-builds from foreign investors, but in general, the Spanish property market remains, for now, oversupplied, driving down prices and influencing buyers to invest whilst the price is right. Meanwhile, sustained growth in Ibiza has instilled investors with renewed confidence of rich returns.
Water Preservation Project in Pitiusas
A water saving scheme has been launched in Ibiza and Formentera, as part of a plan to create sustainable tourism and protect the local environment. The campaign named ‘Vive la Isla, Cuida el Agua’ (Live the island, Save the water) has been set up by The Alliance for Sustainable Water Management (SWM), which consists of officials from local authorities and the private sector as well as interested parties from the spheres of agriculture and social studies. The plan is to create a new awareness of water preservation amongst residents and visitors to the Pitiusas islands.
Aimed primarily at hotels, bars and restaurants, the scheme involves actively encouraging the private sector to join the SWM, whilst distributing educational material with water saving tips and producing flyers for the public, featuring the campaign slogan. Printed in Spanish, Catalan and English, the leaflets are to be placed in high water-consumption areas such as bathrooms in popular tourist venues. With rainfall recorded at an all time low over winter 2015/16 and the continued growth in tourism year-by-year, grave concerns have been expressed by environmentalists and farmers over the islands’ water reserves. The ‘Vive la Isla, Cuida el Agua’ campaign will, hopefully encourage everyone to be more responsible in the use of this, most precious, natural resource.
Discussions on Tax Cash Distribution
There could be good news for Ibiza and Formentera, as the Spanish parliament decide on the division of revenue from the recently introduced Balearic Tourist Tax. Left wing political party Podemos have called for more of the funds from the visitors tax, charged at 50 cents to 2 euros per day, to go to islands whose indigenous population are most greatly increased by the seasonal influx of tourists. Podemos have also campaigned for scrapping the 50% reduction in the winter rate, for greater public approval to be sought on proposed schemes and for an increased amount to be spent on environmental projects, as well as further cash injections to aid job creation both within and outside the tourism sector.
Originally Mallorca was set to receive 45% of the 60% tax revenue which has been designated to be divided between the island Consells, however a spokesperson for Podemos: Laura Camargo, pointed out that Formentera has a “colossal number” of visitors. The party will put its proposals to the committee in charge of monitoring spending in the Balearics along with representatives from PS and Més. The tax has been in operation since 1st July 2016 and figures have yet to be released but the sums collected after a full year will, undoubtedly, constitute a serious boost to the islands’ economy.
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