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A resilient property market – good news for Malta

If ever there was a time in history that would have had adverse effects on the local property industry, the past more than a year would have been it. In sharp contrast to countless other economic regions globally, Malta’s property industry has seen no slowing down. Taking into consideration the adverse effects of the pandemic on travel and tourism, the local property market is very independent and relies mostly on local buyers for its success.

Real estate is a major component of the local economy and the confidence shown by investors is unabated whether they are local or foreign. Most people that are looking at investing in the property market want to be in the owners’ category with a fifth looking at renting as an option. Large shares of the prospective owners are made up of first-time buyers looking to enter the market, making use of the government’s current incentives. As is traditionally the case, the remainder are made up of people moving up the property ladder while others are buying second plus properties with the aim to rent them out.

A growing number of people are looking to purchase exclusively on Gozo, which has seen a phenomenal rise in the demand for historic homes and Houses of Character on Malta’s little sister island. However, the lion’s shares of buyers are still from Malta and most of them want properties in the mid-price range, putting some pressure on this sector. Most popular property types are easy-to-maintain apartments and lock-up and go properties, but a sharp rise in the demand for Houses of Character have been observed.

Malta’s property market has consistently been one of the top performers in the EU market, seeing investment returns outperforming other sectors such as precious metals and commodities. With turnover figures of around the €3bn for the sector in 2020, January this year saw a nearly 30% increase in the amount of Promises of Sale when compared to the same time last year, boding well for the market which is bucking the trend and outperforming even its own records as set prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Real estate is well-known for being a big part of many successful investment portfolios and with prices remaining stable and in some instances increasing, market analysts’ predictions are to no longer postpone buying a property, as it is very unlikely that prices will come down. As the most used adage in real estate goes: “The best time to buy property, is always now.”