Can Mallorca ban non-residents from buying houses?

by Lorraine Williamson
Mallorca non-residents

MADRID – The plan of some politicians in Mallorca and the neighbouring islands to limit the sale of real estate to foreign non-residents has now also reached and occupied the Spanish Senate in Madrid. 

A submission by Senator Vicenç Vidal, who belongs to the Més party, was also accepted by the socialists on Wednesday and thus passed by the plenum. The opposition conservative People’s Party abstained from voting. 

Plans not compatible with EU law 

The panel now wants to investigate, together with the government of the Balearic Islands, the extent to which such a restriction is possible. However, all parties stated that these plans were not compatible with current EU law. In Mallorca, the Pi Party had said that Schengen member Denmark prohibits non-resident foreigners from buying property on some of its islands. 

Related post: Balearic Islands want to limit the purchase of houses by non-residents 

Senator Vidal argued that the situation in the Balearic Islands is completely out of control as far as real estate purchases are concerned. That is why there should be restrictions. He described the result of the Senate vote as a “complete success”. The goal is to finally regulate the real estate market on the islands. 

“The Balearic Islands are not a theme park where the people of our islands no longer fit,” said Minister Negueruela of Economic Model, Tourism and Employment, arguing his intention to limit the sale of homes to non-residents. 

Negueruela says he is open to limiting the purchase of houses in the archipelago (which includes the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera) by banning non-residents and people who have lived in the area for less than five years. 

Although the Balearic Islands government and the opposition agree to limit the purchase of real estate to non-residents, European Union (EU) community policy prevents discrimination in the purchase of housing based on factors such as residence or nationality. In this respect, Denmark is currently the only country in the EU that has a differentiated legal framework in this respect. 

Related post: Foreigners are buying more homes in Spain than ever before 

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