Last year Charles Marlow Ibiza had our best year ever. Recently, as Ibiza basked in bright and sunny January weather, I asked Charlie Hill, co-founder and partner in Charles Marlow and my colleague and friend for his take on Ibiza real estate trends for 2022.
Charlie has been leading the sales side of Charles Marlow for several years now and has gained an enormous insight into the Ibiza real estate market. We found a quiet moment and sat down to chat on the terrace of one of our favourite cafés in tranquil Ibiza Old Town and talked Ibiza real estate trends as we soaked up the sunshine.
Let’s start by looking back at 2021, Charlie. How would you describe the year we had?
It was our best year ever. And it wasn’t just us. Our friends at Blakstad Architects & Design Studio here on the island, for example, told us they had their busiest year ever. And they’ve been in business since something like 1967.
Why do you think that was?
It’s to do with so many people reevaluating what matters to them and realising that what they want most is quality of life. Last year, we saw the early adopters moving quickly to buy their dream home in Ibiza. This year, that wave is becoming even bigger.
And why Ibiza?
To me, it’s an island filled with people living a beautiful life and, quite simply, more and more of us are waking up to that. We all want to be part of a fascinating and growing international scene.
Ibiza is an island that has always offered a great quality of life. Today, it has the infrastructure to support that and a sophisticated understanding of what people like Charles Marlow clients are really looking for.
It’s evolved into far more than a party island – although the clubs are still there and they’re great if you’re in the mood. But now there are all kinds of ways to live an heathy life, especially for children.
The island is also increasingly developing a sense of community that includes Ibicencan natives and expats. It’s such a small place that there’s no need to be isolated, unless you really truly want to be. Now there are all kinds of community-oriented initiatives and hubs springing up all over Ibiza, which is fantastic.
Just to give one example: Santa Eulalia on the East Coast of the island. I’m amazed by the number of great year-round restaurants opening in the town. Also, I’m constantly meeting new, interesting people there.
Not necessarily. Although plenty of properties on the island are selling, there are always opportunities to buy. The real estate market in Ibiza is still pretty fluid. And, as you know, Charles Marlow has an excellent network of trusted agents and scouts who source best-kept secret properties for us.
We also have strong relationships with the best architects, designers, lawyers who specialise in real estate and anyone else whose services our clients might need.
How about our seller clients?
Because of Ibiza real estate trends, it’s a really good time to sell if you have the right kind of property, especially on the West Coast of the island. The demand is there, for sure. If you’re selling because you’re moving off the island, I’d say you’re in a very strong position. But if you’re thinking about selling and moving somewhere else on Ibiza, you might have to be patient to find the property that’s right for you.
What do you think our rentals business will look like this year?
I would say that if someone is thinking about renting in Ibiza with us, they should move fast because the most desirable homes are being snapped up. It’s a case of ‘If you want to come, come!’
Apart from meeting demand and delighting our rental clients, we want to make 2022 the year we define what a quality rental from Charles Marlow really is.
This doesn’t just involve comfort, it’s also about being kind to the island and its environment. So, for instance, we’re asking the homeowners with whom we have a relationship to invest in water filters rather than buying lots of plastic bottles of water. We’re asking them to bulk buy essentials like soap to save on packaging. These are all steps towards being able to rate our rental homes in terms of their green credentials as much as what they offer in terms of comfort.
How is Charles Marlow innovating to benefit sellers?
We are really focused on helping sellers this year. So, as you know, we’re committing to making more film showcases for homes. We recruited the great Hector Piñol as our full-time videographer. Now we’re proud to say we have the only person in the Balearics who does fly-through drone filming on our team.
It’s all about doing everything we can to bring houses to life for potential buyers and it’s working.
One of the things I’m most proud of is our commitment to giving back to the local community and businesses. What form will that take in Ibiza this year?
Right now, we’ve commissioned local craftsmen to make the furniture for our new Ibiza office. Apart from that, we’ll continue as we’ve done since the very beginning and buy locally however we can.
You moved back to Ibiza at the end of 2021. How are you finding the island?
I had a good appreciation of the island from living here before. I loved being able to live a healthy and fulfilling outdoor life surrounded by a community of like minds. Now I’m finding that there are even more interesting, creative, open-minded people to get to know and more great places to meet them in.
One thing that is new is that my partner and I have our daughter, Nova, to consider. She seems to be thriving here. The only challenge for us has been planning her childcare and education.
I’d say to anyone considering moving to Ibiza with young children that you must plan their education well in advance. We got her a place at the wonderful Mandala school, which you know, for when she’s three. But we didn’t give childminding the thought we should have done.
Most of all, I’m very happy that we moved back. It feels like coming alive all over again.
And what would be your message to anyone thinking of moving to Ibiza, as you have?
Don’t waste time. Just do it. Now’s the time to start living the life you love. If you’re not entirely sure, speak to people you know who’ve already made the move. Speak to me. I’ll be happy to share what I know. The thing is, more and more people are realising that life is too short to waste it living where you don’t want to, for whatever reason, and also that Ibiza’s quality of life is not going away. It may well get even better. Actually, I’m sure it will.
Don’t waste time. Just do it. Now’s the time to start living the life you love.