The Association of Builders of the Balearic Islands has launched this Thursday a "desperate" appeal due to the lack of between 10,000 and 15,000 workers of all kinds to be able to cover the needs of skilled and unskilled labor. The president of the Association, Fanny Alba, has assured that this lack of labor endangers the construction of housing on the islands at a time when the Balearic Islands have some of the most expensive prices per square meter in Spain.
Housing is, at the moment, the main issue of political debate in the archipelago. The rooms in shared apartments are rented at an average of 450 or 500 euros and the average mortgages that are signed are the most expensive in Spain, above 230,000 euros on average, according to data from the College of Property Registrars. One of the proposals that are on the table to try to offset these prices is the prohibition of purchases for those who have not resided on one of the islands for at least five years.
The builders consider that this measure, questioned by the European Commission with the current legislation, will not have the desired effect and say that the main problem is the lack of land to build affordable housing. They point out that the Balearic Islands need to build some 20,000 homes to meet the demand, but the construction figures are far from those forecasts, among other things, due to the lack of manpower.
"We do not understand how a country with three million unemployed, most sectors can not find workers," said the president of the builders of the Balearic Islands. The sector also censors some of the decisions approved by the Government of Francina Armengol, such as the latest decree-law that declassifies developments and which, in her opinion, will further aggravate the problem of homelessness in the community.
The builders ask that the urban regulations of the islands be changed, especially Palma, to be able to grow in height in some areas. There are areas of the city center where only the construction of a ground floor plus three heights is allowed and those responsible for the construction sector claim to raise the heights and increase the population density in these areas.
They also believe that investment in subsidized housing continues to be "insufficient", since it is only serving to meet the needs of the most vulnerable classes and not the vast majority of the population, who also have difficulties accessing housing.
Lastly, the builders warn that there may be a "cascade" of deserted tenders due to the lack of price updates which, together with the lack of labor and the price of materials, can lead to a "perfect storm".
In relation to the balance of activity last year, the Association has highlighted that the total investment in construction reached 2,431 million euros with an increase of 13%. Specifically, they have explained, the private grew by 3% with 1,622 million, while the public did so by 38%, with 809 million, having been a pre-election year and the arrival of European Funds. In private investment, the single-family home continues to account for the bulk of the game with a budget of 780 million.