During a presentation at the Balearic parliament, Jover and other members of Podemos outlined what they believe to be failings with regard to housing policy on the islands, where there are some 500 individuals who have at least 50 homes in their name. The right to decent housing is not being fulfilled, prices are exorbitant, speculation is rife, measures taken so far are not enough and must go further.
Jover drew a comparison with the so-called 'Iberian exception', which caps the cost of gas and electricity, in arguing that the Spanish government must endorse an exception for the Balearics to facilitate the restriction of home buying by non-residents.
Podemos presented part of a study by the Observatorio DESC in Barcelona (observatory for economic, social and cultural rights) of the housing situation in the Balearics and the possibility of limiting the purchase of housing just to people residing on the islands. "We have heard too many times that this cannot be done. Today, we have come to explain that it can be done," stated Jover.
According to the authors of the study, there are a dozen cases where European courts have agreed with those who have promoted a limitation. But the report stresses that this cannot be general. It cannot affect an entire country but rather territories which, for specific reasons, require special treatment. In the Balearics, the study notes, purchase of land by non-residents has increased by 93 per cent, while the average price for a property is the highest in all of Spain - 408,173 euros.
Proponents of restrictions, including Podemos, all recognise that exceptions must be consistent with EU legislation. It would therefore require amendment, as advocated by the Balearic parliament. President Armengol has meanwhile echoed a motion approved by the Senate in Madrid that calls on the Spanish government to press for such amendment during the period of Spain's presidency of the EU.
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I believe it's the local people who owns 50 properties, not foreigners nor Spanish from the mainland. Maybe they check who owns them first, and if it locals, are they being restricted buying too?
If the stated goal is to provide more affordable housing to the gen pop , with particular focus on first home buyers, then this is utter poppycock and the wrong way of going about it. Scatter gun article , touching may points some related , others not. How does the sale of a >2m Euro finca affect the goal of affordable housing / first home buyers? ( SFA) Of the 500 owners owning 50 properties or more - surely the greatest hurdle to affordable housing and 1st home buyers - how many of these individuals / companies are / could be resident ?? ( most i would imagine) It is a simple supply / demand curve . If there is not enough stock for 1st home buyers / general working population to change from rent ==> buy , then more of THIS stock needs to be made available and affordable. Even when this IS the case ( Netherlands) a significant % still choose to rent rather than buy. How about giving 1st home buyers a zero sales tax , giving them a 10% advantage ?? Keeping out 'foreigners' is a pretty xenophobic and short sighted approach to an 'problem' that needs a very different approach. The point that 40-50-% of the GDP is derived from sales tax , also needs to be recognised
@Morgan Williams I agree with James T very good points. I have lived in the countryside over 40 years and your description of Mallorcan families and property is spot on. Plus that is the best description of Brexit I have read in ages. The reality out here in the east of the island is more and more plots of farmland being sold and built on, mainly by " our european friends and ex trading partners" . Acres of green being converted into large houses and gardens. The house smack in the middle of the property so that means no more agriculture there in the future. Add the fact that many are empty for long periods, maintained by gardeners and guarded by security companies. Hardly promotes local society living. When they are occupied they are lit like Blackpool Tower. The house walls are lit, the drives and gates are lit, some even light the plants. So much for dark skies. I long for the number of stars I used to see but no more. And its not necessary. If I go out and want to see something I turn on a light. Otherwise no outside lights, none. I admit it is not only foreigners, The glow from Manacor over the horizon has more than doubled over the years. Dark skies and La Isla de la Calma - distant memories.
Ulla JacksonIt's never been about "foreigners". The proposed restriction is that buyers need to have been *resident* for at least two years. The problem with that tactic is that there's zero evidence that it will deliver any more affordable housing for locals, yet ironically will likely have broader economic consequences. In other words, it's like Brexit. Extreme action against a mythical "enemy" in pursuit of imaginary benefits that in the end, don't achieve any benefit at all, and deliver only downside.
SaraSo are you saying that even Spanish living on the mainland would fall into this category, that they can't buy, as not resident in Mallorca? Somehow I think that will be rather difficult, but I will follow with interest.
Morgan WilliamsYou are talking far too much sense to be on this forum!
50% of the islands tax income is from property transfer tax - €800m last year - heavily weighted to the more expensive properties that attract a 13% tax rate - are these politicians who are spruiking this ban on property sales to non residents aware of the catastrophic impact this will have on the finances of the island? ……and that’s before we factor in the impacts on the building industry, architects, real estate agents etc etc who are all heavily dependent on a healthy and prosperous property market.
God Morgan Williams is a thick bore.
Adam OstenfeldIt has little to do with "left" or "right". As we all can plainly see, both sides of the political spectrum can become radical and initiate bad legislation on fantasy politics. Look at the UK for example. Hardly "left wing", yet is systematically driving itself into the ground for radical ideology. This issue is being driven by two rather radical parties within the coalition government. The presiding party is actually quite center-left, and has exhibited a good deal of sensibility and pragmatism. Surely you'll disagree, but look around you - relatively speaking, things here are as good as they've ever been, notwithstanding the pandemic and inflationary pressures, but the balearics have handled it extremely well when compared to others - particularly one country that you know and love. For me, it's a battle between moderates and radicals. I really don't care what tribe they come from. But I have a low tolerance for radicalism, wherever it comes from. And this is radically nonsensical. Still, I suspect the presiding party in the coalition isn't really all that keen. Besides, they'll likely lose the next election over it.
There are a lot of very Sound Comments here , It’s a Sad situation that the left wing Communist Government have Chosen to go down this Populist Nationalistic Road of Hatred for all people who are non residents and come from other country’s in the EU , A very large group posibly 95% of these people are hard working individuals who love Mallorca and are very aware they are guests there they pay all there bills and never cause any trouble with there friends in the neighborhood . I hope this blows up and causes the Government to change Direction for the good of all people