Public-private collaboration needed for new builds. | Pere Bota


At a Friday seminar in Palma on housing and tourism, speakers agreed that "there are no magic solutions" to the housing problem in Mallorca and that certain measures, such as eliminating the Golden Visa or rent caps, are not among the solutions.

Héctor Simón Moreno, professor of civil law at the University of Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona) and director of the Unesco Chair on the right to housing, said that rent caps in so-called stressed areas, as envisaged under Spain's housing law, have not been successful anywhere and are doomed to failure. "There will be unwanted collateral effects, such as the decrease in supply, the appearance of a black market and the selection of tenants with the best financial circumstances."

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He argued that there should be, for example, a focus on the construction of new public housing with private collaboration; on encouraging and incentivising owners to put empty properties onto the market; and on the rehabilitation and conversion of commercial premises into housing.

Moreno added: "A ban on apartments as holiday rentals can make a contribution, though this can't be generalised, while the elimination of golden visas has had a very limited effect on the real estate market."

Another speaker, Jesús González, professor of geography at the University of the Balearic Islands, observed that the control of tourist housing may have worked relatively well, "but it is debatable whether it contributes to a reduction in price". "It has had positive effects in some areas in terms of supply and prices, but not everything that had been hoped for. As for applying limits to purchases by foreign buyers, this is a very sensitive issue, while it is most unlikely that it could be done."