PwC Malta’s second edition of its Real Estate Survey again sheds light on the motions of Malta’s real estate sector in a time of unprecedented challenges as economies navigate through the impact of Covid-19.. In introducing the results, David Valenzia, PwC Malta’s Territory Senior Partner stated that whilst the results of the survey could suggest changes in traction in the industry, when compared to the January survey, the sector resiliently continues to fuel economic activity and, in the process, propelling market confidence.
The online survey in which 461 respondents participated, and targeted the total population residing on the Maltese islands, including both locals and expatriates, indicates that 45% of survey respondents have plans to buy property. This represents a dip from the 58% mark in January, and the survey notes an increase in the amount of people who expressed no plans to rent or buy at 44% as compared to 26% in January 2021.
Over half of respondents (52%) would prefer to buy an apartment or penthouse, and there has been a sharp rise of prospective buyers looking for townhouses, with over triple the respondents in June compared to January (28% to 9%), arguably an indicator of higher appreciation of the traditional aesthetic aspect of townhouses. This, coupled with the fact that the amount of respondents who are purchasing property as a form of investment has dropped by over half, from 23% in January to only 10% in June, and that nearly half of the respondents (41% as compared to 30% in January 2021) wish to upgrade or downsize their current residence, could suggest a level of maturity of the market. The survey also sheds light on social trends, especially when considering the significant percentage of first-time buyers who are seeking to buy property to move out of home. 36% of respondents in the survey reflect this category – and is consistent to the 33% which was registered in January.
When compared to January, it appears that people surveyed are allocating more significant funds to their property purchases. The budget of the largest bracket (15%) was between €151-170k, which was higher than the €100-150k in January. There was also an increase of prospective property buyers with budgets of over €300k, from one fifth (20%) in January to one third (33%) in June.
The amount of people looking for rental of property has remained relatively unchanged, but the extent of whom wish to rent in Gozo has nearly doubled from 10% in January to 18% in June. In both Malta and Gozo, coastal localities appear to be the most popular for rental of properties with Għajnsielem and Għarb being the two most popular in Gozo, and Sliema and St. Paul’s Bay the two most popular in Malta, while Mosta also appears a popular choice.
Other trends also point to a younger, future-minded market. Most of the respondents (62%) value sustainability stating it as an important or very important variable in their decision to buy a specific property, with nearly half of respondents (48%) saying they would even spend more money on a property that includes sustainability considerations.
The PwC Real Estate Research is a digital survey that was distributed out 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.
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