Buying or renting a property in Mallorca is far from cheap and it is not because there is a lack of housing.

Far from it, there is a surplus of empty properties of all shapes and sizes across the island but it appears that most of the owners do not want to rent them out at sensible prices or sell them despite the pent up demand.

In the block of apartments next to me in the centre of Palma, there are two large apartments which have been closed up for the past three years.

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The only signs of life are when a team of cleaners turn up once in a while to give the abandoned flats, which are in prime condition, a once over and to make sure everything is in working order. No one lives in them, and I have never seen either for rent.

Fine, on the one hand, property is a sound investment but even so, the owners could be making a nice bit of extra cash by renting them out.

The Balearic government has introduced measures by which it can take over properties and rent them out at sensible rates but we are only talking about a few, by the looks of things there are thousands of properties across the island lying empty while people between 18 and 40 are having to live at home with their parents because they are being priced out of a market which is not moving, especially at the moment.

The top end might be, but we’re not all millionaires on Northern European wages.