Be it because of better line dance clubs, lawn bowls facilities or the high cost of living, there is a gradual movement of British residents in Majorca to the Mainland and the Eastern Mediterranean and the property sector, for many of the smaller independent estate agents, has become a buyers market. One Calvia-based estate agent said yesterday that it was not taking on any more properties in Andratx, “half of it and Santa Ponsa is up for sale.” Other estate agents are having to drop the asking prices, in some cases below the value of the property, in order to sell - but all are saying that now is the time to buy. The bulk of former British residents on the island are moving to the mainland and in particular the Costa del Sol, fuelling the growth of the size of the British population of the mainland which is expanding at a rate of between 12 and 15 per cent a year. Apart from the property market being more obviously varied, property prices are cheaper and the cost of living less. “It is still very hard to pay over 100 pesetas for coffee on the mainland and finding a menu of the day for 600 pesetas is easy,” a property agent in the north east of the island said yesterday. In Andratx some people have put their homes on the market claiming “they don't feel very welcome any more” while others are moving in search of better facilities. An increasing number of people are also upping sticks and moving to Greece, Turkey and even Croatia, the latter of which is proving popular with people employed in the luxury yacht industry and it appears that the number of house hunters coming from the United Kingdom is less than the number of people selling up. This time last year, estate agents were saying that they had never seen a market so buoyant with the demand for Majorcan homes in the UK going through the roof. The majority, from Scotland and the Black country, were looking for homes around the £500'000 mark and paying in cash, however, 12 months down the road independent estate agents are painting a different and rather gloomy picture.

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