European gloom helps boost home sales in Malta
A UK website promoting Maltese property has had its best start to the year for four years – with strong interest from overseas buyers.
And one factor that has helped boost sales through www.maltabuyproperty.co.uk is ‘gloom and doom’ elsewhere in Europe over financial cutbacks following the credit crunch.
Managing Director Ray Woods says, “We have had our best start to the year for some time. Prices in Malta are stable and for those who have their cash resources in place, there is always scope for haggling on Malta.”
Mr Woods says the gloomy outlook of some European countries, including the UK and Ireland, is a major factor in keeping the property market in Malta buoyant.
"What we are hearing from clients across Europe is that they are fed up of lectures from politicians about austerity. Life is short and they just want a good life for themselves, their children and their grandchildren.”
"The well-publicised property and other tax increases in countries like France and not least - the weather in countries like the UK and Ireland are also fuelling demand.”
Interest from overseas investors is growing and more people are looking for a permanent move to Malta, says Mr Woods.
"We are seeing more enquiries from clients in Cyprus, France, Italy, Spain and South Africa, concerned at both political and economic developments in those countries. We are also seeing an increase in enquiries from US buyers looking for a European base with good travel connections.
"Nearer to home, we have seen a return to the market of UK and Irish buyers of budgets with around 120,000 - 200,000 euros. Higher priced properties have continued to do well for the last 3-4 years generally.
There is a growing trend towards buyers seeking to relocate permanently rather than acquire second homes - though this market is still doing well. This runs parallel with significant increases in commercial investment in Malta.”
The low rate of tax and an enviable lifestyle are all major factors for property buyers.
"There are no annual property taxes, no inheritance or wealth taxes. The cost of buying a property at 7-8% is lower than in most of Malta's European neighbours. Italian clients have told me, for example, that they cannot believe how low those charges are compared to their own country.”
Even next month’s national election has not put off buyers. “A keenly fought general election takes place on 9 March, but even the Labour opposition has made it clear that they have no plans to upset arrangements which have served the country well."