Just the day before yesterday a Palma city flat owner was heard complaining that in Palma “you can't get a garage to park the car in for under nine million pesetas. The other day I was offered a good deal, “help me get this parking space off my hands,” I was told...four million pesetas for a space to park my car, not even a garage.” Last weekend a renovated, fully serviced rural two-bedroom property with land and the original wood burning oven, 20 minutes from Santander in the north of Spain was sold for three million pesetas and the property dealer told the buyer he had another in a similar price range if he knew of anybody interested. But don't bother calling it would have gone by now.

Granted, the weather may be different, but for most people money is hard to come by and the new generations in the Balearics cannot afford to buy their own home and most of middle-England would think twice about Majorcan property prices.

While there has been a rival in the British second-home market in Majorca, France is still the favoured destination - a country cottage can still be found in good condition at around the £30'000 mark - and mainland Spain, both north and south is proving increasingly popular. “24 per cent increase in property prices! now's the time to sell my house and move to the mainland,” was how one expatriate homeowner responded yesterday.

As they say, what goes up must come down, but in the property market sometimes the down is accompanied by a large crash as the market would have decided to move elsewhere where the majority can afford to live.

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