Buildings in Palma, Mallorca

Business is critical of the expropriation policy.

05-03-2021Teresa Ayuga

The Confederation of Balearic Business Associations (CAEB) has described the regional government's expropriation of 56 apartments from banks and real-estate companies as "a gimmick" and "misleading". There is a need for 15,000 homes in the Balearics, and this need "increases year after year".

The CAEB vice-president, Eduardo López, believes that the government's housing policy will have the opposite effect to that which is intended. "It will limit even more the new supply of housing and, above all, affordable housing which is being demanded by thousands of families."

Carmen Planas, the president of the confederation, is critical of government policies. "They are totally insufficient to solve the serious housing problem facing the vast majority of Balearic citizens, who are condemned to being unable to access affordable housing." In her view, the announcement of the expropriation by the housing minister, Josep Marí, is designed to show that "something is being done, when in reality it is only the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a long administrative process and will take time to become a reality".

The president of the CAEB construction committee, Oscar Carreras, argues that the expropriations will hinder the building of affordable housing and that investors will be driven away because of legal uncertainty. "It is absolutely necessary to work together through public-private collaboration which, inexcusably, doesn't exist."

Hans Lenz, president of the Balearic National and International Real Estate Association (ABINI), says that "intervention in the property market has disastrous effects". "Investment is scared away. There is no investment, rental supply contracts and average rental prices rise. We are talking about 56 homes and a potential total of 700 homes, given that the Ibavi housing agency has a waiting list of more than 4,000 families."

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