Balearic Islands may not prohibit the purchase of housing by non-residents

by Lorraine Williamson
non-residents housing on the Balearics

PALMA – The Balearic Islands want to ban the sale of homes to non-residents in an effort to tackle the housing problem on the islands. However, the European Union is now putting a stop to this. 

The tug-of-war continues between the Balearic Islands and the European Union for the purchase of housing by non-residents. The European Commissioner for Financial Services and Financial Stability and the Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness, has indicated in a response that this possibility has been ruled out for the archipelago. 

The government of the islands wanted to ban the purchase of houses for those who have not lived in the archipelago for at least five years. Although they had Spanish nationality. However, the central government in Madrid has already warned the government of the islands that this measure would not be possible with the current European regulations. This has now been confirmed by the European Union. 

Related post: Home sales to foreigners in Spain skyrocket 

Cogesa Expats

La Vanguardia quotes McGuiness’ response. He relies on Article 63 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This strictly prohibits restrictions on the movement of capital associated with the acquisition of real estate. This restriction can only be imposed on grounds of public policy, public security or “overriding reasons of public interest recognised in the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union”. 

While it is true that several countries of the European Union prohibit or restrict the purchase of homes by foreign nationals, they entered the European community with this precondition. However, this is just not the case for Spain. The President of the Balearic Government, Francina Armengol, has therefore requested an exception for the archipelago it controls. 

Related post: Can Mallorca ban non-residents from buying houses? 

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