A study of housing in Pollensa by Ivan Murray and Margalida Mestre at the University of the Balearic Islands geography department suggests that Pollensa has one of the highest numbers of tourists per inhabitant on the planet.
The ratio is put at 24.76 tourists per municipal resident. Only Ibiza Town in the Balearics exceeds this - 25.56. The average in the Balearics is 10.25. The Pollensa ratio is more than four times that of Barcelona, which is 5.48. As the number of holiday rentals places (legal ones alone) is above the number of hotel places, the data, suggests the study, explain why there is a housing crisis in Pollensa.
The town hall, which was given the results of the study on Wednesday, points to the need to guarantee access to housing and is examining ways of doing this, such as through the building of social housing. There hasn't been any of this for some twenty years. Another measure is to have empty flats ceded to the town hall which can be let at a "symbolic" rent. The study indicates that there are 268 empty or partially empty properties in Pollensa - 4.8% of the total.
A comparison has been made between incomes from holiday and residential letting, and the study concludes that higher average annual income can be obtained from the latter. However, it adds that these figures can be affected by the "elevated fraud" associated with holiday rentals.
The social impact of housing problems has been the loss of 1,103 residents since 2009. People have moved to neighbouring Alcudia and Sa Pobla as well as to Palma, Inca and Santa Margalida.