Property prices on the Mediterranean island of Malta have risen again, and according to overseas property specialists Tribune Properties, there is no end in sight yet to any downturn in the market.
Recent government figures showed a sixteen per cent rise in the year to March 2006.
Tribune Properties say that the demand for property in Malta remains buoyant from the UK, US, Australian and European mainland markets, and predict a further ten per cent rise in the coming year.
‘We normally see a drop off in enquiries a few months before any price levelling’ explains Tribune’s Managing Director Roger Munns, ‘But demand for Malta this year is every bit as strong as 2005 and at the moment we can only see prices going one way in the short term at least – and that’s up’.
The Malta government is expected to allow developers to utilise more land for building, but Tribune see this as a negative rather than a positive move.
‘Malta is an island with a finite amount of land, and while the Malta government view releasing more land for building, and more properties as the answer to increasing property prices, we believe this is the wrong approach’, say Tribune, ‘ and in the end more developments could have an adverse impact on Malta’s economy.
Tourism is an important industry for Malta, and tourists aren’t impressed by cranes and construction work while they’re trying to relax or go to see Malta’s historical sights, and if it’s a first visit to the island there’s an increased chance that it will be their last, losing the Malta holidays industry repeat business.’
There has been some discontent on the island about the rising prices of property in Malta, and with less overseas buyers the possibility of prices falling and more islanders being able to get on the property ladder could be welcome news, as today’s tourist is often tomorrow’s property buyer.
But there has been speculation for some time now that low cost airlines are going to start offering flights to Malta, and this will help the Malta hotels and holiday market as more people consider three and four day breaks instead of the traditional week or fortnight, boosting the overall number of visitors, especially if Air Malta and the low cost airlines bring the cost of Malta flights to levels seen for the Spanish islands.
Malta has traditionally seen the majority of her visitors from the UK, but this could be changing to a more diverse mix in future years.
Last year saw a record number of visitors from Italy, and increased enquiries have been received at estate agents across the island from Scandanvia, Holland, France and Belgium, helping to increase the demand for Malta properties.
A new ‘Smart City’ is also being planned which could see Malta competing with the rest of Europe as a business destination for internet and other high-tech companies. English is spoken fluently in Malta, and coupled with relatively low salaries locally it is hoped that inward investment and 5000 new jobs will help the Maltese economy which in turn will boost the property, hotel and holiday markets.
‘Malta is at a turning point at the moment’, conclude YourMalta, ‘and whether the next few years will pave the way for economic prosperity or gloom remains to be seen’.
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