"Ibiza is not like the rest of Spain," claims Spanish property expert Mark Stucklin. "There's undoubtedly a serious crisis in Spain now, but Ibiza is not affected as much because it's quirky, upmarket and doesn't have a property glut."
Prices have certainly cooled — down 22 per cent since their peaks in 2008, according to official department of housing figures. Yet well-priced property in prime locations sells, according to Cathy Ouwehand of Savills Ibiza associates Ouwehand & Wall, especially in the £1.6 million to £2.4 million range. Rental returns for the best villas remain strong, pushing £20,100 a week in high summer, and visitors are coming —over two million last year, up 11.9 per cent on 2010.
"Ibiza caters to a wide and varied international audience of all ages," says Ouwehand. "It has worked hard to be family friendly and the schools are good. It can compete with the glamour of the South of France, yet remains laid-back and relaxed."
Along with hip bars and restaurants, Ibiza Town is home to some of the island's priciest property. A one-bedroom apartment in architect Jean Nouvel's colourful new frontline Life Marina development is £603,150.
Away from the water, expect to pay from £201,000 for a two-bedroom modern apartment. Ibiza Country Villas has new apartments next to Talamanca Beach from £213,100 and a resale two-bedroom apartment in the Dalt Vila — the Old Town high above the harbour — for £225,100.
A rare new development is The White Angel, five minutes from the seafront in Ibiza Town and right next to top nightspot Pacha. Spanish developer Five Element Homes plans to build 67 two- and three-bedroom contemporary apartments, priced from £217,100 to £595,000 for 860 to 1,077sq ft. The urban buzz of this area makes for interesting potential rental returns. "A two-bedroom apartment rents for £2,000 a week in high season," says Ouwehand.
SOUTH WEST RURAL BLISS
The south west of the island has some of Ibiza's best beaches and exclusive villas, where owners have access to celebrity-studded beach clubs.
In Cala Carbo, a newly completed 1,776sq ft three-bedroom townhouse with infinity pool and parking costs £586,200 through Engel & Völkers. Further north, at the popular family resort of Cala Tarida, Ouwehand & Wall is selling the final 15 of 90 apartments at Viviendas Cala Tarida from £201,000 for two bedrooms. The apartments are arranged around landscaped gardens with a paddle tennis court and communal pool. Weekly rental rates start at £1,200 in summer and some owners currently earn 10 per cent rental returns.
Ibiza is well-known for its high-end villas, hidden among almond trees and orange groves. Engel & Völkers reports that prices of the best villas in prime southern locations, including Cala Jondal, Es Cubells and Cala Porroig, have risen by five to eight per cent in the past year.
North of Ibiza Town, Ouwehand & Wall is selling seven plots with sea views at Cap Martinet, where a four-bedroom house, garden and pool built to the buyer's specifications costs £1.2 million off-plan.
* Ouwehand & Wall: through Savills, 020 7016 3740 (savills.com/international).
* Engel & Völkers: 020 7590 3700 (engelvoelkers.com).
* Ibiza Country Villas: +34 971 33 9307 (ibizacountryvillas.com).
GO WEST FOR THE BEST BEACHES
Jimi and Georgina Parkinson, 45, and 36, couldn't afford to buy on Ibiza in 1999 so they bought a house in Denia on the Spanish mainland, an easy ferry ride from the island.
"We would cross over to Ibiza four or five times every year," says Jimi, who owns two spa businesses. "Ibiza is a magical place with its own spirit."
Last November the couple decided to buy in Ibiza itself, choosing a three-bedroom garden apartment at Cala Tarida on the west coast, where they plan to spend six to eight weeks each year with their children Joshua and Mia, 15 and 13.
"The west coast is for me Ibiza's most beautiful side, with golden beaches and turquoise water," says Jimi. "It is good for families, uncrowded and not overbuilt. The average property owner on Ibiza is younger than on Mallorca and that brings a different vibe."