Brits have long been flocking to the Balearic Islands to escape the cold, creating a thriving holiday rental market. However, according to new research, this region is now also receiving Russian interest, offering a wealth of new opportunities for those considering investing in real estate.

Sotheby's International Realty claims that after Catalonia, the Balearic Islands are the preferred destination of Russian tourists in Spain and for the first nine months of 2012, there were 102,121 visitors to the islands from this part of Eastern Europe.

According to Sotheby's this isn't likely to change any time soon. Anna Batizi, head of international sales for Moscow Sotheby's International Realty, explained: "Lifestyle is the single biggest draw for Russians when it comes to the Balearics. These are the perfect holiday Islands blessed with well over 300 days of sunshine a year, something that Moscow lacks to the most extreme extent.

"The capital, Palma de Mallorca, is vibrant and sophisticated, the Islands’ infrastructure well developed and the hundreds of kilometres of coastline provide perfect boating opportunities. Add 26 golf courses, 60 or more vineyards and a superior standard of living and little wonder my Russian clients are expressing a keen interest."

Sotheby's International Realty claims that the real estate market is also experiencing the benefits of the tourist boom, as Russians look to turn from holidaymaker to holiday home owner. Attractive prices are helping to drive this interest, with properties holding their own against their French and Italian competitors.

Demand is only set to soar with the implementation of a proposed new law to give residency permits to property buyers from outside of the EU. Russia is the prime target for these permits, with the Spanish government aware of its ability to attract investors from this part of the world. With property prices continuing to stay low, the environment is particularly favourable for buyers. The Global Property Guide reported that year-on-year to June 2012 house prices dropped in the Balearic and Canary Islands by 6.8 per cent.



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