The negative message has already hit the international media. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

The threats about limiting the sale of homes to non-residents is leading to a restructuring of the short-term plans of many foreign property developers in the Balearics who are already sounding out alternative markets to relocate their activity.

This week, the Balearic Government has opened the door to holding “an in-depth debate” on an issue that first pro-Mallorcan Més and then the PI parties put on the table and which would imply profound modifications to European community regulations.

Despite this, the real estate sector warns that the message is reaching international markets and causing deep concern for the immediate future of the Balearics.

“It has gone down like a nuclear bomb,” says Hans Lenz, president of the Balearic Association of National and International Real Estate Agents (ABINI) and director of Engel & Völkers in Mallorca.

“In the international press you simply read that the Balearics are going to ban the sale of property to foreigners and that is scaring everyone away. Many are already assuring us that they are going to finish what they have in place and leave”.

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Foreign property sales to foreigners in the Balearics now account for around 50 % of the total market. The Germans, followed by the British and the Swedish, have been the first to set the alarm bells ringing, but they are not the only ones.

Marc Pritchard, sales director of Taylor Wimpey, assures that British companies are already planning to move if they continue to perceive what they consider to be a hostile context for their activity, with their sights set preferably on well-known markets such as Portugal. Italy and Greece, where land is also more affordable, are also among the most obvious escape routes, although other Spanish regions such as Andalusia and the Valencia region are also being considered.

Lenz, who explains that with the current geopolitical situation and inflation, Germany has noticeably slowed down its urban development activity, maintains that the negative message can have devastating and immediate effects: “Once it is transmitted, you can be left with zero”.

He also denies that for the moment there has been a rebound effect, contrary to what was intended with the proposed limitation; in other words, that it has not led to an increase in transactions.

Lenz - who recognises that the sale to foreigners is one of the reasons for the increase in the price of housing, although he stresses that it is not the only one - is in favour of exploring other ways of reconfiguring the market, such as changing the type of housing “prohibition is not a way of solving a problem and, furthermore, it breaks models of coexistence that have existed for a long time and all for launching electioneering messages that do not provide any real solution”.