Within eighteen years time, Pollensa will have no protected housing, i.e. the social housing properties that are bought/sold or rented at prices fixed by the Balearic government.
Since last year, the government has lost control of 59 of these properties that were built in Pollensa in the 1980s. They were bought at below-market prices and continued to be controlled for thirty years - until 2018 - at which point they could be sold or rented out at market prices.
Unless some new properties are built, all the existing ones will cease to be controlled by the government by 2037.
A consequence of the loss of the 59 properties has been an increase in both the average cost to rent and the price to buy. This is in a municipality where there is a shortage of affordable accommodation. The average price to buy in Pollensa has increased 12.5% over the past twelve months, more than any other Majorcan municipality except Calvia.
A study of the housing situation in Pollensa which was published towards the end of last year warned that trends in building and the sale of formerly protected properties would result in drastic change. It advised that there should be new social housing and put a figure on this - 608 properties.
The cost to rent a protected property in Pollensa is around 400 euros a month. The free market average is 1,000 euros, an amount that can be exceeded in Puerto Pollensa.
Deputy mayor Toni Cànaves says that various options are being studied: ceding land to the government for it to build social housing properties; the purchase or an agreement for use of empty properties; incentives for owners who rent out.