a Rented Sign in Malta

The state of the Maltese rental market

  • 25.July 2014
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a Rented Sign in MaltaIf you have a few thousand euro laying in the bank, enough for a deposit on a one or two bedroom apartment, the likeliness is that you will rent it out before you have signed the contract and you will – right off the bat – be earning between 5% – 7% on your investment immediately.

The buoyant rental market is gasping for new properties. This type of market hasn’t been seen since the days when the blockbuster films, Gladiator and U571, were filmed in 1999 on our Islands when hundreds of properties were swallowed up by the filming crew, stunt men and the stars.

Fortunately today, our problem at hand is a long term issue and not an eight or nine month project. The years of hard work put in by this Maltese Government and administrations of the past are finally seeing the fruit of their investment in promoting Malta. It’s not a summer thing – I can assure you, though we could do with all those apartments that are rented as holiday homes.

Malta is booming with staff, management and executives of companies, newly crowned residents of Malta and some newly born Maltese citizens in waiting. This recent problem with the availability of rental homes in Malta is not causing damage to the Industry, neither is it scaring away people from our Islands.

Malta is a loved Nation, not only for its sun, great food, hospitable people, excellent hotels, (I can go on but I am not going to) and entertainment facilities. Malta has finally reached the positioning on the global market of a true business hub of excellence as well as a place to take up residence and become a citizen. A good problem to have indeed, but how is our rental situation going to be solved, and now?

It would definitely help if the tax law on rental income would be passed in Parliament. A tax break from 35% to 15% would definitely provide the necessary incentive for those rental investors that are sitting on the fence waiting for this to pass. The top people in Malta must realise that this tax break will also bring around people from out of the woods that haven’t been so clear on their yearly return thus the tax gained will be by and large, more than one is expecting. Should you wait for the law to pass to invest? It is a catch twenty two but there has been a lot said and done by this Administration and one would have to believe that those in charge understand the problem at hand and will implement it. Remember, there are a number of other priorities which have been promised and delivered.

Late last year, those looking for a rental would only hone in on St. Julian’s and Sliema, but today they are oRental Sign Maltapening up their property search criteria to different close by areas or even further and opting to rent a car to get to their place of work. Yes, rental prices have slightly gone up but this stands for reason when you have a higher demand than that of properties available for rent. Nevertheless, the rental prices are still considered reasonable compared to other European cities.

A modern rental apartment in the areas mentioned above are almost like gold dusk and those that invested in the past are having a steady period of security where tenants don’t even have the option to change their home. I remember those days when clients used to try out Sliema and then St. Julian’s and then “Why don’t we gang up and rent a luxury apartment in Portomaso?” I won’t say these days are over because somehow this demand should be met.

There are a number of homes on the market that are not updated to today’s rental standard. An investment gone to waste. Homeowners should start thinking of updating their properties to assure themselves a secured rental that will garner a better income. Furniture shops are definitely much cheaper than the older days and there are packages on offer. The antique days have become obsolete and the ever changing tastes of different Nationalities must be met to assist in filling the gap. Some tenants have been quoted as saying “Not even if you paid me would I live in a home furnished like that”. Enough said on that subject.

In conclusion, Malta’s so to speak rental property problem is merely another opportunity for landlords of old and new investors to renovate and purchase property respectively. A professional and experienced real estate agent will surely guide you on what to buy but most importantly how to go about renting the home and maximising your rental income because they simply understand the needs of the client.

Jeff Buttigieg
Post by Jeff Buttigieg

Jeff Buttigieg is Co-Founder and COO of RE/MAX Malta and JK Properties Ltd. He overseas the marketing, PR, IT and business development of the company. He has a vast experience in real estate having been an associate and manager himself for several years.