Almost a year after its initial publication, Dhalia Real Estate and Grant Thornton Malta have come together again to present the third edition of “The Malta Property Landscape – A True Picture.” The latest edition of “The Malta Property Landscape” uses the latest of Dhalia’s high-quality real estate market data from 2022 and the analytical expertise of Grant Thornton to create a more accurate picture of current market trends. This edition also expands into the commercial real estate sector and predicts how the latest property trends will affect the overall property market in the next few years.
Presented in a grand event at Trident Park in Mriehel, Birkirkara, on April 20th, the research found a keen audience comprising stakeholders from the construction and property industries, along with local governing bodies. Notable dignitaries like George Vella from Grant Thornton, Hon. Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, the Minister of Public Works and Planning, and Alan Grima, the CEO of Dhalia, graced the occasion with their insights.
All speakers observed the need for change in the property and construction industries to meet the needs of today’s buyers. George Vella remarked that it is the responsibility of all relevant stakeholders that form part of the property and development industries to lead the way in ensuring quality, affordability, and sustainability. “As financial advisors, it is our responsibility to help lead the way and help make people more knowledgeable about what it is really of importance in the [property] market.”
The Minister of Public Works and Planning echoed statements of stakeholder responsibility and stressed the importance of using present data and needs to influence the impact of the sector as a whole. “Analysing the property landscape in a scientific landscape based on data is of utmost importance. It is fundamental in understanding present and future trends.” The Minister also called for a change in the way the property and construction sector operates to ensure the current needs of industry are properly tackled. “We need to upscale in all aspects. We need to address the whole ecosystem of this sector.”
Dhalia’s CEO Alan Grima also commented on the latest edition’s expansion into commercial property, which highlights the sector’s growth and challenges and will continue to expand into later publications. “Ultimately, our goal is to empower owners, buyers, businesses, investors, and other stakeholders with the knowledge and guidance necessary to navigate the conditions of Malta’s real estate market and make the right decisions for long-term success,” he commented.
“At Dhalia, we remain dedicated to serving as a reliable information source for all stakeholders in Malta’s property industry. We are committed to continually expanding our report to cover relevant sectors within our industry – ultimately, providing industry experts with the intel needed to contribute to the market’s sustainable growth.”
Malta’s economic resilience, notably influenced by the real estate sector, has been a focal point of discussion among market enthusiasts. The surging real estate prices, sometimes driven by local demand and at times buoyed by international interest, owe their vigor to factors like foreign investments, the boom in tourism, and Malta’s esteemed position within the European Union.
Tourism, a heartbeat for Malta, intertwines deeply with property dynamics. Historical data shows a direct correlation between tourist arrivals and property transactions, especially in regions considered tourist magnets. The influx is not just temporary; many tourists find themselves captivated by Malta’s allure, transitioning from short-term stays to more permanent residencies, further driving up demand in the real estate sector.
A cornerstone of this analysis is the data-driven approach, underlined by Dahlia’s comprehensive database. Housing over 30,000 rental observations, after meticulous filtering, presents over 10,600 high-quality data points. Employing the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) estimation, the study illuminates correlations between property attributes like size, furnishing, and location against their prices.
Dr Daniel Gravino, a consultant of Grant Thornton, presented the key findings of the latest edition. The latest findings were split into the current housing market, housing sustainability, and the market for commercial office space. These findings echoed the industry’s latest challenges, which include the affordability of housing for current generations and low-income earners, the sustainability of the current property market, and the need to invest in quality and energy efficiency.
The presentation was then followed by two panels discussing the future of the island’s real estate and construction industries.
The first panel, aptly titled “Financing the Future”, focused on how the construction and real estate industry should aim to balance affordability, energy efficiency, and social responsibility. The speakers included Erskine Vella (Director, Best Deal Properties), Francesca Vella (Manager, Grant Thornton), Gordon Dalli (Branch Manager, Dhalia), Marcel Cassar (CEO, APS Bank), and Matthew Zerafa (CEO, Housing Authority).
The discussions included the need for experts and influential stakeholders to take the lead in promoting sustainability and setting an example, the need for more data, regulation, and change in policy and enforcement, and a need to increase awareness and education in energy efficiency by both private and public institutions.
“Banks need to play a key role in providing sustainability,” remarked Marcel Cassar. The banking sector should be part of the change or lead in sustainable economic growth. They are “the oxygen canisters” of the decisions being made today that impact the overall sustainability of the island.
The second panel, titled “Redefining Malta’s commercial property landscape,” focused on the commercial property market’s latest challenges, as well as the opportunities that can grow from them. The speakers included Charles Xuereb (CEO, Trident Estates), Chris Grech (Chairman, Dhalia), Denise Xuereb (CEO, AX Real Estate), and Perit. Justin Mizzi (Valuation Specialist, Archi+), and Oriana Abela (Partner, Grant Thornton).
The discussion included the challenges of the current commercial real estate landscape, the need to prioritise public-private partnerships to attract the right businesses, the opportunities that lie in recent trends of hybrid working, the move towards sustainability, the future of the office lifestyle, and acknowledging the spending power of investors.
Concerning the future of the commercial market, Chris Grech observed that there needs to be a shift from “quantity to quality […] you need to come up with something that is different to the rest.” He also commented that “it is in the interest of the investor to come up with a good product because it is a long-term investment.”
The intricate intricacies of Malta’s property realm extend beyond mere transactions. With the comprehensive insights offered by Dhalia’s extensive research and experience, stakeholders are poised to tread with a strategic advantage in this dynamic environment. As Malta cements its position as a real estate haven with data-driven insights and proactive strategies, the future of its real estate market indeed beams with promise.
The latest edition of our report enhances the in-depth market intelligence of the property market that will enable all stakeholders and investors in the property market to make informed choices towards the formation of a more sustainable property market. The full version of the third edition of “The Malta property landscape” publication is available from www.maltapropertylandscape.mt.