PwC Malta is releasing the first real estate barometer, a biannual tracker of consumer sentiment and market trends which has been conducted by Onest.
This barometer scales the intentions of the population to prospective real estate purchase or rental transactions.
In introducing the results, David Valenzia, Territory Senior Partner at PwC Malta, commented that historically the real estate market in Malta has been an important contributor to economic growth, and despite the significant economic disruption brought about by the current COVID-19 pandemic, the industry remains resilient on the back of strong consumer confidence, evidenced by the rate of real estate transactions experienced in the past months. The PwC Market Survey will continue to monitor consumer sentiment in the property market as well as provide insights into changing trends that may occur in the future.
This online barometer, in which over 450 respondents participated, was carried out during December 2020 and targeted the total population residing on the Maltese islands.
From a demographic perspective, the largest single age bracket of participants is the 25-34 bracket - at 29%, followed by the 35 – 44 age bracket, at 23%. 40% of participants are in the 44+ age brackets, while 8% are aged between 18 and 24. 59% of the total respondents are Maltese nationals, 27% are foreigners residing on the island and 14% live in Gozo.
Despite the current economic stress, the survey suggests that a significant 58% of the respondents are entertaining plans to purchase property and another 16% are on the lookout to rent property. 26% of the respondents who opted to take the survey stated that they have no planed real-estate transactions.
Geographically, St Paul’s Bay is the most sought after area with respect to the rental of property in Malta, closely followed by other localities on the island, namely Hamrun, Sliema, Mosta and Qormi. This ties in with recently observed trends in population growth, whereby St Paul’s Bay has emerged as Malta’s most populous locality .
The majority of prospective property buyers, at 58%, state that they intend entering a real estate transaction alone. The survey also provides insight into the intentions of prospective new homeowners. 33% of purchase decisions are prompted by first-time property buyers who are moving out of their parental home, while a further 20% are seeking a new property to upgrade on their existing residence. A further 23% of the population intend to acquire a property for investment purposes.
Out of the total barometer population, 80% are looking to buy property in Malta, whilst 10% are on the lookout for property on both islands and 10% wish to buy property exclusively in Gozo.
The survey provides insights into the ranges of property prices that prospective purchasers are considering with 80% of respondents looking at properties at a value of €300k or less.
Arguably, this pricing point could lead to certain pressures within the property market in view of the apparent consistent upward trend observed on publicly available real estate price indices .
While 43% of respondents are seeking apartments or penthouses, 25% are on the lookout for maisonettes and 11% intend to buy a house of character. Our research suggests that the most popular locations in Malta for prospective buyers are Mosta and Birkirkara, closely followed by Lija, Attard, Balzan and Sliema. Meanwhile, in Gozo, Gharb and Ghajnsielem are the most sought after destinations for property acquisitions.
The PwC Real Estate Research is a digital survey, carried out through Onest, that was distributed on social media platforms. The distribution targeted the Maltese General Public (18 years to 85+) including all genders. The research also included both locals and expats. This digital research has a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of ~5% for the online Malta General Population based on 450 stratified responses.
About PwC Malta
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Territory Senior Partner, PwC Malta
Tel: +356 2564 6892
Tax Partner, PwC Malta
Tel: +356 2564 6897
Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, PwC Malta
Tel: +356 2564 6734
Senior Manager, Assurance, PwC Malta
Tel: +356 2564 7804