The Maltese Government continues to incentivise the local real estate market in an attempt to make the market more reachable for the various property segments in Malta.
The recent local Budget 2017 has seen a number of announcements that affect the property industry – from a new scheme for second-time buyers, to continuations on the reduction of stamp duty and further incentives to investors that are willing to renovate older properties that will be rented back to the Government to bridge the gap of a current housing shortage for a number of locals that cannot afford to rent a property.
The Government recently also announced a Rent Subsidy Scheme, for which over 1,016 applied last year, that allows locals to apply for a maximum of €2000 (depending on Aggregate gross income) subsidy which would go towards renting a property. During the budget, the Finance minister stated that they would widen the eligibility criteria to increase the number of locals that would be able to be qualify.
The cash for passport (Malta Citizenship by Investment Scheme) has also been extended for another year. The Government stated that this will attract more foreign investment into the Maltese Islands.
At RE/MAX Malta, we’ve been keeping a close eye on things. Read on to discover which incentives and new additions could affect you.
- If you’re planning to buy your first home, then you can continue to benefit from the First-Time Property Buyer’s Scheme, which has been extended. This scheme gives first-time buyers €5,000 to help them purchase their first home.
- This Budget also introduced a new Scheme for Second-Time Buyers aimed at people who will be selling their first home to buy a new one. This incentive will provide assistance of up to €3,000 in the form of a refund on duty on documents paid. It is likely to be of great value to young families upsizing to a larger home, as well as elderly people downsizing to a smaller one.
- All rental agreements will now have to be registered, and contracts will have to specify the lease term and the amount of rent due across its entirety. This will form part of the Government’s drive to better regulate the rental market, and fall under the directives of the Rental Market White Paper that is due to be announced in the next few weeks. The Government will also be encouraging more landlords to put their properties up for rent.
- Beyond that, property owners will also be given up to €25,000 to renovate old properties that will be rented out to the Housing Authority on 10-year agreements. These contracts will be set at pre-agreed rental rates.
- Other benefits will be carried forward. These include the reduction of duty on documents from 5% to 2% on the acquisition of immovable property in Gozo, as well as from 5% to 2.5% for property in Urban Conservation Areas. Both will be extended for another year.
- Finally, the popular Individual Investor Programme has also been extended for another year. This programme enables foreign individuals and their families to attain Maltese citizenship, provided they contribute to the island’s economic development.
Would you like to know more about how the recent Budget announcement could affect you? Talk to us! We’re happy to help.