Construction in Malta is fast becoming a driving force behind the economy, quite possibly more than the tourism industry, given the repercussions the latter has faced due to the ongoing pandemic. For better or worse, there’s been a massive boom in housing construction, which paired together with government-led initiatives, has led to increased home purchases.
PwC conducted and released their most recent real estate survey results, a survey that took place in June 2021. We had a look through it and picked four key points that look to shape the housing market in Malta for the next couple of years.
Sustainability becomes a key factor
For the majority of respondents, sustainability appears to be a key metric in their decision to buy property. Whether that extends to building materials and techniques used is not made clear, but it is heartening to see that people would put the environment at the forefront of their decision-making process.
That being said, slightly less than half, at 48% said that they would be willing to pay more for a property that was more sustainability-oriented. Since there was no prior data to compare with, the next survey should reveal whether opinions have changed.
Buying or renting?
The majority of respondents were of Maltese nationality, which may have had an effect on the outcome of the “buying or renting” question, but there was another metric that changed significantly since January. Though most said they prefer buying to renting, those two metrics dropped this time around.
Instead, there was an increase in people saying that they have no plans to do either in the near future. Is this a sign of the ever-increasing prices? Maybe it’s simply an effect of the pandemic and people are taking longer to save up the required amount. Either way, it’s difficult to arrive at a conclusion from one survey, so the next one, expected to be in January 2022 could set the tone for the industry.
Meeting in the middle
When it comes to buying property, most respondents said they were looking at the central areas of Mosta, Mġarr, Naxxar and Balzan. Għargħur also experienced a jump in demand, with the place experiencing a larger than expected drop being Qormi.
In terms of renting, Sliema maintained its expected prominence, but places like Mtarfa, Mqabba and Naxxar saw massive jumps in demand, whereas Ħamrun saw a steady decline.
Most of the respondents said that they were looking to buy their first home, similar to the January survey. The biggest change instead was the shift from people buying to invest, to either buying to upgrade or downsize their homes.
What makes that change interesting is that between January and June 2021, there’s been an increase in people for higher value property in excess of €300,000.
What do you make of these findings? Is the local housing market going from strength to strength, or is danger looming? You can read the full report here.