Staff Reporter IN order to purchase a home in the Balearics, a family must set aside 57 percent of its income. This percentage is the fourth highest out of all the regions of Spain and is higher than the national average which stands at 55.3 percent. According to a report published by the Catalan savings bank Caixa Cataluña, Madrid is the region of Spain where the families have to make the biggest economic investment for property buying, by forfeiting 70 percent of their income. At the other extreme, in Castilla-La Mancha, the percentage of burden falls to 36.4 percent of the family income. The Basque Country comes joint first with Madrid in having to make greatest financial sacrifice to buy a home, using 68.1 percent of family income. Catalonia is next on the list with 65.1 percent, followed by the Balearics with 57 percent. Without doubt, the demanding proportions are linked to the high property prices in these regions, the report says. Caixa Cataluña, believes that in the regions registering the higher percentages, where many families have to sacrifice such a major proportion of their income, there would not be many who could see their way clear to purchasing without difficulty.

Such acquisition would only be unquestionably possible for those in high income brackets.
At the other end of the scale, the economic effort necessary in the following regions is reflected in the lower percentages of family income required to be set aside for the purchase of a household: Extremadura (37.9 percent), Murcia (39.2), Galicia (39.9), La Rioja (41.1), Valencia (42.3), Aragón (48), Navarra (48.1), and the Canary Islands (48.7). With percentage values close to the national average are: Andalucía (50.2 percent), Asturias (52), Cantabria (53) and Castilla y León (53.2).
House prices in the Balearics continue to soar, and the government and town councils are making a concerted effort to promote the construction of subsidised housing, to give young people a chance to purchase their own homes.

However, demand for such housing far outstrips supply, and the waiting lists are long.