The decree is due to be approved later this month. | Archive

New apartments that may be built in accordance with the Balearic government's emergency housing decree will be 40% less expensive than market prices.

Decree provisions were outlined earlier this week by President Marga Prohens. Cabinet approval is expected some time this month, the housing ministry still working on a key aspect - what is termed limited-price housing. The government will set prices for properties for sale and for rent.

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These prices will depend on the municipality, on three types of apartment that can be created, and on energy efficiency. Taking all this into account, the ministry calculates that the price to purchase will be some 40% below current market rates and that the price to rent will be 47% lower. For a sixty-square-metre apartment, the sale price, for example, will be an average of 160,000 euros rather than 262,000, while the price to rent will be around 600 euros rather than 1,120.

There are criticisms of the decree. As well as from opposition parties, these have come from the environmentalists GOB and the Consubal consumers association. GOB argue the need for the regulation of the rental market and for effective measures against speculation. "Guaranteeing the right to housing does not involve urban planning amnesties for illegal housing or dividing houses. That is not housing policy."

Alfonso Rodríguez of Consubal is critical of the fact that social entities such as his were not invited to the meeting this week. Builders, developers and "speculators" were. He is concerned that the measure that may have the greatest impact is the transfer of public land to companies.