A holiday rental in the Balearics. | ARCHIVO

The National Statistics Institute (INE) has released figures for holiday rental accommodation as of August 2021. A nationwide survey, the INE has identified the percentage of properties per municipality which are for holiday rental purposes, the data having been collected from the housing census and from ads on websites.

In Mallorca, there are three municipalities where this percentage exceeds twenty per cent. Ariany is just over 20%, but Buger and Pollensa are well over - 27.05% and 26.04% respectively. Digging a bit deeper, the INE reports that in certain parts of Pollensa the percentage is up to 41.3%, while in terms of municipalities with 1,000 or more holiday rental properties, Pollensa has the highest percentage in the country. Removing the 1,000 properties measure, and Pollensa is third in Spain and Buger is second - Sales de Llierca in Catalonia heads the list.

Pollensa has long been holiday lets central in Mallorca. A high number is absolutely nothing new. Pollensa’s rental activity has existed for decades and to such an extent that the number of accommodation places has consistently outstripped those offered by hotels in the municipality. The proliferation, it can be argued, is a reason why Puerto Pollensa has retained its character; it is not a resort dominated by hotels.

One can also say that there was a time when this didn’t really affect local housing. But this is no longer the case, the former mayor, Miquel Àngel March having been one to voice his concern at the impact - people having to look elsewhere to live. He said this during the 2015-2019 administration, since when the percentage has increased. In fact, compared with August 2020, there were 464 more holiday rental properties in August 2021. It has also been pointed out that the overwhelming majority of the properties which aren’t for holiday let are people’s first homes, added to which are second homes that aren’t rented out. This makes finding places for residential renting very difficult.

Of other municipalities, 18.05% of properties in Alcudia were for holiday let last August, the fifth highest percentage in Mallorca (Felanitx was fourth with 18.74%). In Campanet the figure was 12.34%, Santa Margalida 11.39%, Muro 10.98% and Sa Pobla 6.37%.