PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 June, 2012, 12:00am


Enjoying morning sea breezes, marina communities are among the most desirable places to live as summer approaches, and the Mediterranean Sea is peppered with such properties.

Marina homes are being built across the Mediterranean to capitalise on the popularity of yachting. Homes are situated around a marina in which some homeowners have berths for their boats. They are at their busiest in the summer when yacht-owners use them as a base.

Marina communities are like golf communities in that they attract holiday homebuyers with a passion for their sport.

Operating like holiday resorts, they often have hotels with spas, restaurants and other facilities which residents can use.

Homeowners pay service charges to a management company for the upkeep of communal areas and, in most cases, can put their homes into a rental pool to generate income when they are not there.

According to the Superyacht Annual Report 2012, the yacht-building industry began to recover last year following several years of 'treading water' after the credit crunch. It expects demand to continue rising, because the number of billionaires in the world is increasing.

In addition to strengthening demand, there is a shortage of supply, says Charles Weston-Baker, international sales director at property consultancy Savills. 'Despite recession and austerity, there is still demand for yacht berths in the Mediterranean generally. For larger yachts there is a tremendous shortage in the western Mediterranean.'

Marina homes in the western Mediterranean are between 20 to 30 per cent more expensive than those at the eastern end, because they are more accessible to north Europeans, Weston-Baker says. 'British, Dutch, German and Scandinavian yacht owners prefer to have berths in the western Mediterranean, because it is better connected by air.'

In Monaco, a new Norman Foster-designed clubhouse for the Yacht Club de Monaco is being constructed. Prices for studio apartments in the principality, which is built around its harbour, start from Euro1 million (HK$9.68 million).

At Limassol Marina, in Cyprus, developer Cybarco is creating 650 berths, including 35 for super-yachts, at a new marina next to the old port, scheduled for completion at the end of the year.

The 17-hectare scheme includes 274 apartments and villas, including some houses with private berths at prices starting at GBP1.4 million (HK$17 million).

Eastern Mediterranean developers are starting to lure European buyers. At Tivat, Montenegro, the Porto Montenegro Marina community includes a 650-berth marina with 130 berths for super-yachts, a spa, casino, hotel, shops and restaurants.