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Tag: Balearic island

Exploring Ibiza’s New Housing Projects

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This summer the Balearic island of Ibiza is predicted to have smashed even more tourism and airlift records than last year. As other beach destinations in North Africa and Turkey have dropped in popularity amid security fears, their loss has been the Balearics’ gain, and British Airways’ new flights from London Stansted to Ibiza have been fully booked from the get-go in May.

The demand for private jets has also been higher than ever (up 8.5 per cent year on year), and the demand for yacht chartering has increased by 27 per cent in a year.

So are any of these visitors to the island buying property? It would seem that some of them are. Agents report that demand has increased considerably during the past two years – and because prices in the Balearics fell less during the global downturn than in the Spanish costas, they had less ground to catch up. Statistics from Tinsa, Spain’s leading valuations company, show that while the national average price for property in Spain fell 41 per cent between 2007 and 2014, the comparable drop was 29 per cent in the Balearics.

Further, stats from Idealista.com, a leading Spanish property portal, show that asking prices in the Balearics are now 21 per cent higher than at the top of the boom. No other resort region has recovered so well – not even Marbella. While Mallorca has been popular with wealthy buyers for many decades, clearly Ibiza has become a brand in its own right during the past five years or so, and this spans both ends of the market.

“The island’s image has moved upmarket. It has become a much more year-round location [British Airways now flies there during the winter] and we are seeing a new type of buyer – family-focused forty- or fiftysomething professionals who are bringing their children to the beach clubs, rather than going clubbing in San Antonio as they did 15 or 20 years ago,” says Cathy Ouwehand, international associate for Savills, the agent.

While sleek, contemporary villas have been constructed over recent years – and there are more schemes in the pipeline, especially around the south-west – and there are traditional farmhouses (or fincas), there are also at last some new apartment schemes that are catering for the lock-and-go market on the island.

New apartment schemes for all budgets

The White Angel development near the Pacha nightclub in Ibiza Town, the hub of Ibiza, sold quickly when it was released, and featured in this magazine, in 2012. The high-spec block of 66 apartments were sold off-plan, with prices from €400,000 to €1.5 million. The gated scheme offers an attractive shared swimming pool, gym, security and concierge, and attracts healthy rentals for its mix of stylish finishing, good location and extra services.

A range of British, Dutch and Italian buyers invested, along with some Spanish (there are many from Barcelona on the island), and the appetite for this sort of scheme has led OD Group, the developer, to launch a similar branded project in Talamanca, north of Ibiza Town. Also being sold off-plan, there are 54 180m2 three bedroom apartments, from €1.3 million to €1.9 million. It is close to OD Group’s new hotel, Ocean Drive Talamanca, and the sandy beaches.

OD Group also have a new apartment scheme in the popular Playa d’en Bossa (site of the trendy open-air beach club Ushuaïa, Nassau Beach Club and the Hard Rock Hotel) with prices from €280,000 for a two-bed apartment to €630,000 for a three-bed, three-bath 120m2 unit and sea views from the higher units. The average unit will be €450,000. This mid-range scheme, The Wave, will have 138 units and is second line to the beach.

“This holiday resort area has had a complete refurb, but now there are suddenly five-star hotels and destination beach clubs. Hotel prices have doubled and the area has been lifted to another level,” says Ouwehand. “This is a great area for a prime rental investment with services.”

OD Group also have a budget-range apartment scheme, Abc S’Olivera, at Puig d’en Valls, an inland area behind Ibiza Town, from €215,000. Handily near a supermarket, and with a large pool, these apartments seem great value for the location. “The upper units will enjoy good views of Dalt Vila in Ibiza Town whilst the ground-floor ones will have a garden,” says Carlos Noguera Wilson of OD Group. The three-bedroom ones measuring 90m2 with a roof terrace will be €368,000. “They will be completed at the end of 2018 and we have had a lot of local interest.” (All these schemes are available through Savills).

If you want a new villa, €1.5 million is around entry level, and Lifestylehouse.com, a developer of eco-friendly properties in Spain and Amsterdam, have recently begun building stylish new-build properties from this price point. They are building five in San Miguel, an area in the north of the island (which is more affordable than the southwest) within walking distance of the beach.

“They are sustainable, high-spec homes of 300m2 with terraces, each with their own pool,” says Gert-Jan Oepkes, head of office of Stirling Ackroyd, the selling agent. “The sustainability makes them unique – they don’t use the hollow-brick wall system commonly used in Spain that can produce cold, damp villas, but rather a polystyrene type insulation. They are built with a modular system that makes construction efficient and fast.”

The floating-villa style is attractive, using lots of glass and covered terraces – very contemporary and creative in the design. They can be built to order – assuming you can fi nd a plot – elsewhere on the island, but Oepkes warns that in the south-west the cost of the plot would double the budget to €3 million.

“The south of the island is overpriced, and we are seeing many more buyers looking to the north for greater aff ordability,” he says, suggesting that in peak summer they might rent for €15,000 a week due to the strong demand for high-quality villas.

Engel & Völkers, the high-end agent, put the cost of an “averagely located” four-bed villa in the north at €750,000 to €1 million. They said that an averagely located two-bed 100m2 apartment in the north would be between €200,000 and €300,000 – again this is less than a comparable property in Ibiza Town (€300,000 to €400,000) and marginally less than the €250,000 to €350,000 for a two-bedder in the south and south-west of the island.

Santa Gertrudis, in the centre of the island, is also increasingly popular, especially for British families relocating (it is close to the best schools such as Morna International College). Again, €1.5 million is around the entry level for a quality villa, and Savills has a ten-bedroom resale example for €1.85 million, while Stirling Ackroyd has a new four-bedroom, three-bath villa for €2.2 million.

Ibiza losing summer music festivals crowd to Croatia

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When it comes to summer music festivals, the Europeans have always done it a little better than the rest of the world.

Every year between June and September, a world-class festival takes place almost every weekend in countries ranging from Spain and France to Germany, Austria and Hungary – and particularly the UK.

Traditionally, rock and pop music have been the mainstays of most such events, but the rise of electronic dance music has in recent years made that sound the focus of most summer music festivals held across the continent. For much of the past two decades, Spain’s Balearic island of Ibiza has been the summer capital of electronic music events in Europe, but in the past five years it has been usurped by an unlikely contender: Croatia.

there is a sense of adventure and exploration here which is a huge part of the appeal. And the sunshine helps too
EDDIE O’CALLAGHAN, CO-FOUNDER OF THE GARDEN FESTIVAL

The country at the crossroads of central and southeast Europe and the Mediterranean may not be the first place that comes to mind when considering where to go during summer to drink a beer in the sun while listening to a DJ spin dance music. Although it’s been two decades since Croatia won its four-year war of independence against Yugoslavia in 1995, the bloody conflict still looms large in the popular consciousness. But since the war ended, Croatia’s image has slowly been overhauled by travellers who return home raving about its warm Mediterranean climate, its unspoilt 2,000-kilometre coastline and its picturesque towns.

And now, due to the efforts of a group of dedicated event promoters, the country has staked a claim as the summer music festival capital of Europe. More than 15 large-scale music events are taking place in the coming months, starting with the FOR Festival at Hvar from June 19-22 and concluding with the Unknown Festival in Rovinj from September 8-12. While most modern genres are covered – including indie rock and hip hop – it is in the area of electronic music that Croatia has become a force to be reckoned with.

The first such event to put Croatia on the radar was The Garden Festival, which attracted a modest 300 people when it made its debut in the Dalmatian coastal town of Petrčane in 2006. In 2012 there was a change of site to Tisno, a little further down the coast, situated between Zadar and Split. Apart from The Garden Festival (running this year from July 2-9), the new site also hosts four other festivals: Electric Elephant (July 10-14), Soundwave (July 17-21), Suncebeat (July 23-30) and Stop Making Sense (July 31-August 3).

Revellers chill out on a boat trip during The Garden Festival. Photo: Tim ErtlEddie O’Callaghan, a co-founder of The Garden Festival, admits that the natural beauty of Croatia was for many years overshadowed by the conflict. “But now recent generations have had the chance to rediscover its beauty, and are shocked to find such a glorious place so near to everywhere in Europe, and with such a warm and friendly reception,” he says.

“But having said this, many parts of the country still feel quite undiscovered, there is a sense of adventure and exploration here which is a huge part of the appeal. And the sunshine helps too.”

Asked whether the Croatian festivals have benefitted from the widespread perception that Ibiza – with its €20 drinks (HK$210) and club cover charges of up to €200 – has become over-commercialised, O’Callaghan says: “Maybe this has put off some real music lovers, who have now discovered in Croatia something fresher and far more affordable. Also at The Garden Festival, there is still the opportunity to enjoy the crystal clear sea and party in the open air until dawn, which reminds many people of how Ibiza was in the glory days of the late 1980s. This was never our aim, but the comparisons to the early days of Ibiza are flattering, even though Croatia has its own unique identity in terms of its music.”

This unique musical identity O’Callaghan is talking about is one of the main selling points of the Croatian festivals. While other European festivals, particularly those in Ibiza, cater for those with broader and more commercial tastes, the events in Croatia stand out by offering well-curated line-ups to fans of specific genres of electronic music.

The Garden FestivalThis is particularly true of the Dimensions (August 27-31) and Outlook (September 3-7) festivals, both being held in the picturesque 19th-century Fort Punta Christo in the coastal city of Pula. Dimensions, now in its third year, has quickly earned a reputation as one of the world’s top festivals for underground house and techno music, while Outlook, which was launched in 2008, has won fame worldwide among followers of bass music (including drum’n’bass, grime and dub).

Noah Ball, one of two managing directors for Dimensions and Outlook, says the philosophy behind these two festivals “is to respectfully represent the music from those genres and provide the audience with the best specifications in sound systems possible”.

Asked how Croatia has been able to achieve such success, Ball says: “I think it’s a combination of elements. The weather is almost always amazing, the scenery is stunning, and there are some really dedicated and innovative promoters putting together some brilliant festivals.

“Croatia has a unique charm. It is very laid-back, the coastal region is simply stunning, and there is a sense of it still being a little bit undiscovered. Some of the numerous islands are sparsely inhabited, so you can really escape from it all after a festival if you need to unwind – there are deserted beaches, historic towns and cities.”

With at least two new Croatian festivals announced this year, some are asking whether saturation point is close to being reached, but Ball is adamant that the growth so far appears to be sustainable.

The Garden Festival“I think everyone realises how far and fast the Croatian festival scene has grown, but we are all about development and growth, and essentially continuing to produce some great events with brilliant line-ups that people will want to come to from all over the world.

“In that sense, especially for Dimensions and Outlook, we now have truly global audiences and want to continue this, developing the festivals’ reach further. For Dimensions we have got a worldwide club tour happening in over 50 countries, so the word is spreading far and wide.”

The shift in the electronic music scene’s focus from Ibiza to Croatia was highlighted recently when it was announced that Mark Broadbent, former programmer at seminal Ibiza event We Love, had resurfaced in Croatia as chief promoter for The Garden Festival’s off-site, open-air venue, Barbarella’s.

“I left what for some would have been the dream job of programming one of the best parties in the world due to a lack of enthusiasm in the way things are heading in Ibiza,” he told the dance music blog Skrufff.com “A very different kind of clubber now comes here than 10 years ago, but Ibiza needs this kind of tourist to sustain the growth made during these past 10 years. The face of Ibiza has now changed … and there are now other places to visit if you want to recapture that hippie/free spirit we once loved here so much many moons ago.”

And by the sound of it, one of those places is now Croatia.

Source : Adam Wright (South China Morning Post)

 

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