"the surge in demand for property to the increase in the number of foreign workers in Malta"
"increase in the investment in the buy-to-let market has fuelled the activity in the industry"
"the impact of foreign workers as the major factor positively affecting the industry"
"capping of stamp duty and refunds on properties acquired in some areas had a positive impact"
26% of the respondents attribute the surge in demand for property to the increase in the number of foreign workers in Malta – a noteworthy indicator of the susceptibility of our economy to inbound business. 20% of local real-estate operators deem that the increase in the investment in the buy-to-let market has fuelled the activity in the industry. Other factors affecting the demand for property were determined to be the growth in disposable income, the Government initiatives in the sector, the increase in demand for office space and the Individual Investor Programme.
The barometer results are segmented further by the market share of the respective real-estate agent. 35% of the operators who claim to have more than 5% of the market identified the impact of foreign workers as the major factor positively affecting the industry. In the band representing the operators who claim to have less than 5% of the market, the proportion of real-estate agents who have identified the same factor stands at 23%. It appears that the 2018 Budget initiatives targeting the real-estate business have been strongly welcomed by the industry. 95% of the participants in the barometer stated that the extensions on the capping of stamp duty and refunds on properties acquired in designated areas had a positive impact on the industry.
"The results of the barometer continue to reinforce the widespread notion that this industry continues to perform well and also contributes indirectly towards other sectors of the economy. PwC’s initiative in the form of market barometers is aimed at maintaining the firm’s insight in this industry."
Stringent banking regulation imposed on European credit institutions is affecting local real estate market. 49% of total participants in the barometer cited the access and availability of finance as their top-most concern. Other concerns arise to be potential adverse changes to the taxation regime on properties, lack of supply of property in the market and negative press about Malta in foreign media. In a similar market exercise carried out by PwC in October 2015, the top-most concern of the industry, at that time was MEPA, and the bureaucracy around it. The availability of finance only ranked as the third top-most concern, after the issue of over-supply in the market.
The St Julian’s and Sliema area has experienced the large price increases. This is consistent with the October 2015 barometer, albeit, at that time - it was around 60% of the real-estate agents who indicated that properties in the proximity of this area were considered to be the most sought after. In the current barometer, this proportion is down to 46%. Demand for property is the south of Malta appears to be registering a modest, yet steady recovery. In January 2018, 11% of the real estate agents participating in the PwC barometer stated that properties in such areas are the ones more in demand. In October 2015 less than 3% of the industry expressed such a view.
Territory Senior Partner, PwC Malta
Tel: +356 2564 6892
Senior Manager, Assurance, PwC Malta
Tel: +356 2564 7804