The Mediterranean island of Malta has seen the highest growth in property prices of any European Union country, and recent news could help see double-digit property inflation in the coming years.
Figures released by the European Mortgage Federation show that Malta’s increase of more than eighteen per cent was greater than that of France and Spain.
Two EU countries, Germany and Austria, saw house prices fall, while Portugal, Greece and the Netherlands barely entered positive territory.
And island property insiders predict that there could be strong growth for a few years, giving Malta the potential to be seen by investors as a good place to buy.
Tribune Properties, which specializes in property for sale in Malta, reports that the first quarter of 2006 has seen a good level of activity, with the top end of the market experiencing particularly good levels of performance.
“The first two weeks of January were slower than the same period last year,” says Michael Johnson, Tribune’s managing director, “but since then the number of sales has matched last year, very good, but the villas with an initial price of one million euros and more it has seen increased activity and a good number of sales’.
Hotels and holidays in Malta
An independent Malta hotel and holiday information site also reports increased interest in its property pages compared to the first quarter of 2005, with the number of page views increasing by almost a third.
Sustained property inflation at the levels seen in Malta is rarely seen in other countries, but the new economic activity on the island could see property demand reach good levels for years to come.
A new ‘smart city’ is planned which could see Malta compete with the rest of Europe as a business destination for Internet and other high-tech companies. English is fluently spoken in Malta and, coupled with relatively low wages locally, inward investment and 5,000 new jobs are expected to help the Maltese economy, which in turn will boost the property, hotel and vacation.
The tourism industry is vital to Malta’s economy, and the arrival of low-cost airlines providing new flights to Malta is expected to benefit Malta’s holiday industry, as well as Malta’s many hotels.
If Malta can combine the attractions of a Mediterranean holiday island with modern infrastructure and high-tech friendly businesses in a low-tax environment, current property prices could look like a bargain five years from now.
The introduction of low-cost flights to Malta from the UK will open up the possibility for more buyers to look to the island for holiday homes that can be used for long weekends, and Malta’s hotel industry could reap the benefits of tourism from 3 and 4 days. seeing the island as a viable place to visit.
Malta has traditionally seen most of its visitors from the UK, but this could change to a more diverse mix in the coming years.
Last year saw a record number of visitors from Italy, and more inquiries have been received from estate agents across the island from Scandinavia, the Netherlands, France and Belgium, helping to increase demand for property in Malta.
After a few years of wondering how Malta would fit into the modern world, Maltese estate agents, hotel owners and the holiday industry are beginning to look to the future with some optimism.