House prices up by 3.8% in last quarter 2018 in Malta
“Malta's economic growth continues to be one of the strongest in Europe, resulting in rapid income convergence towards the European Union average,” the International Monetary Fund said in mid-January.
This concluding statement certifies that Malta's economic growth prospects remain very convincing. The economy has continued to grow at a sustained rate with a record-low unemployment rate, moderate wage growth, a growing tourism industry and constant attraction of foreign investment.As the latest budgets evidenced, this economic growth is being distributed for all to have a better quality of life.
Fuelled by an ever-increasing demand, both the renting and the selling property markets have been thriving over the last years. And while Malta has traditionally been a country of homeowners, there has been a growth in the private rent sector as well.
Social and cultural shifts, such as the increase of foreign workers, increased shared housing and definite work contracts, among others, are all realities, which are pushing people into rented accommodation. In addition, more people are in the labour market than ever before; in fact, the unemployment rate in Malta hit a historical low as this government continues to encourage the participation of women in the labour market in turn.
This means that the demand for accommodation is growing and pushing prices up. This growth might be making it harder for prospective homeowners, especially first-time buyers, and people who want to rent, to make their move into the property market.
Given these realities, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to the First-time Buyers scheme.
Additionally, the government took other initiatives in collaboration with local banks to help prospective buyers purchase a property. Stamp duty exemption for those purchasing their first home makes it more affordable for individuals, especially the younger generation, to make such a large investment at a critical time in their lives; while those planning to enlarge or downsize their homes, can benefit from a stamp duty refund through the Second-time Buyers Scheme.