The boom in holiday rentals has unleashed a housing crisis without precedent in the north of Majorca. Finding an apartment to rent in Pollensa, a town which has long been one of the principal destinations for holiday rentals, is now almost impossible. Hundreds of workers in the tourism industry are looking round the clock for somewhere to rent, but the market has dried up and the crisis of lack of accommodation extends to the next bay and to Alcudia, Playa de Muro and Can Picafort.

A consequence is that prices are starting to shoot up in the island's interior. Rental in Inca has risen by an average of 200 euros over the past six months, but the problem goes beyond this. In Pollensa there is now a flight of young residents who, at a time when they are wanting to move out of home and become independent, can find nothing locally.

The mayor, Miquel Ángel March, says that people are going to Sa Pobla, Muro or further. There are no rentals, even if they can be afforded. The town hall, prompted by the Alternativa per Pollença party, is spending 1,500 euros on a study of the housing situation. The hope is to get a stock of social housing, but as Alternativa spokesperson Marina Llobera notes, real estate and tourist accommodation speculation has made it difficult to find anywhere to rent or somewhere economical to rent. It's not a totally new situation but now many people in Pollensa have given up trying and so are moving to other towns.

The reduction in accommodation for residential renting has been accompanied by the increased market for holiday properties. Economic crisis exacerbated the situation in an area where evictions are the order of the day. Owners see the holiday market as safer and more profitable. And then there are new owners, who have taken advantage of low prices and acquired properties as holiday investments.

The study, says the mayor, will corroborate a reality that can be seen every day, but it will guide the town hall in addressing "a real and serious problem". March points to the possibility of creating a type of bank of rentals for which owners have guarantees and incentives to lease longer term. The properties that currently have official protection in the municipality - fifteen in all - are clearly insufficient.