The report is by the Caixa (savings bank) de Catalunya, and it covers the period 1994-2002. It said that the average family in Spain would have to spend the equivalent of 5.6 years' salary to purchase their home, but confirmed that the Balearics had the most expensive housing, needing 7.8 years' salary. In second place was Madrid where a home calls for 7.7 years' salary, and the Basque Country (7.6 years). Also above the national average were Catalonia (6.9 years) and the Canary Islands (6.8 years). The cheapest housing is to be found in Extremadura (3.2 years' salary), and Castille-La Mancha (3.8 years), followed by Galicia (4.2 years), Asturias and Murcia (4.3 years) and Valencia (4.5 years). The number of years has increased throughout Spain since 1994, but the biggest increases have been in the Balearics (four more years), the Basque Country (3.1 years), the Canaries (2.8 years), Catalonia (2.3 years) and Madrid (two years). The high cost of housing appears to be one of the contributory factors to the drop in requests to build a home in the countryside, as the Council of Majorca reports a 20 per cent drop in the requests for permits to build last year. The Council said that 596 requests had been received last year, compared to 750 the previous year. The number of permits issued was 505 compared to 549 in 2001. But this was higher than the 450 permits a year the Council planned to issue following an agreement with the Balearic government. However, since 1991, the Council has authorised the construction of 5'635 single family homes in the countryside, indicating the intense pressure the land is subject to. During the same period, the Council rejected requests for the construction of a further 1'949 homes.


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