Home owners snap up €8m in restoration funds

A home restoration grant was closed today following overwhelming uptake from the public, Planning Parliamentary Secretary Deborah Schembri said today.

Addressing a press conference, Dr Schembri told reporters that the Irrestawra Darek scheme, launched back in January, had been met with more than 800 requests from home owners.
She said the entire €8 million allotted for the project had already been absorbed and the last few applications were being processed.
Although applications had come from all over the island, the highest concentration were for Grade 1 or 2 scheduled properties in Sliema. Żebbuġ and Valletta had also generated a lot of interest, she said.....

Read the full article on Times of Malta online edition March 27, 2017, here.

Scheme to regenerate village core buildings launched

First-time buyers of scheduled buildings will be given a 70 per cent rebate on restoration works, thanks to a scheme launched this morning.

The rebate, up to a maximum of €100,000, will cover facade and interior works, balconies, and even some forms of garden works.

First-time buyers of property in Urban Conservation Areas meanwhile will be eligible for a maximum rebate of €10,000.

The scheme, which will start on January 16, has an €18 million cap and is on a first-come first-served basis. Receipts must be provided.

The Irrestawra Darek scheme was launched by the Planning Authority this morning to help with the regeneration of Malta's village core areas. The scheme was first announced by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna in the last Budget.

The planning authority said it had reached an agreement with the Local Council Association to help councils provide residents with a conservation architect.

Times of Malta online article here.

Mysterious Għar Lapsi balcony is set in stone - No evidence to issue enforcement order, says PA

A ‘mysterious’ concrete balcony protruding from the Għar Lapsi coastal cliffs enjoying unobstructed views of Filfla is there to stay, as according to the planning watchdog there is no “solid evidence” to issue an enforcement order.

Completely concealed from land, the structure is only visible from the sea. It was flagged a few weeks ago by environmentalist Alan Deidun, who posted a photo on his Facebook account.
While questioning the legality of what he sarcastically described as “a room with a view” he questioned if this was yet another audacious attempt to have a property in a privileged location.

A close up of the concrete balcony captured by Planning Authority staff during a recent inspection.
“Seems like constructions within cliffs themselves have become the next frontier,” he remarked.
Comments below Prof. Deidun’s post claimed that the ‘balcony’ was connected to nearby boathouses next to the Għar Lapsi public convenience.

This newspaper asked with the Planning Authority to ver…

Well-preserved 18th-century ruin, standing in isolation: The Devil’s Farmhouse in Malta

The Devil’s Farmhouse, also known in Maltese as “Ir-Razzett tax-Xitan”, and officially as “Ir-Razzett Tax-Xjaten” (“The Farmhouse of the Devils,” or “The Devils’ Farmhouse”), is an 18th-century farmhouse in Mellieha, Malta, built by the Order of St. John to be used as a horse stable. According to a national Maltese myth, however, the farmhouse was actually built by the devil, a tale from which it derives its historic name.

The building has a simple and modest vernacular architecture, with slit windows, that function as ventilators, and waterspouts. It has no inscriptions or symbols to provide further information about its use apart from some roman numbers (i.e. I, II, III) that were inscribed when it was converted to a farmhouse. These are found on the walls and woods, and record the sale of products....

Read the full article on The Vintage News.

Paceville mega-projects will generate 2 million cubic metres of construction waste

Increase in construction activity to result in vast quantities of construction-waste which would increase pressure to use this material for land reclamation projects which will only be viable if more apartments are built on reclaimed sea.

The nine-mega developments in Paceville are expected to create between one and two million cubic metres of construction waste - more than the total amount of construction waste dumped in a single year.
The amount could increase further with the excavation of a tunnel proposed under regional road earmarked for after 2018.
Altogether, the nine Paceville developments included in the master plan will create 1.17 million square metres of new ground space set on different floors-which is nine times that of the combined Mriehel and Sliema towers approved by the Planning Authority in August.
The two projects - which have a combined gross floor area of 135,149 square metres - will together generate 276,115 cubic metres of excavation waste.
Although a direc…

Housing Price Statistics - Malta (Q3 2015)

Malta recorded the highest quarterly increase in house prices in the EU (+6.2 per cent) in the third quarter of last year, according to Eurostat.
It was followed by Ireland (+4.5 per cent), Austria (+4.1 per cent), and Sweden and the United Kingdom (both +3.9 per cent).
The largest falls in the same quarter were recorded in Hungary (-5.9 per cent), Slovenia (-3.5 per cent) and Estonia (-1.9 per cent).
Overall, house prices rose by 2.3 per cent in the euro area and by 3.1 per cent in the EU when compared with the same quarter of 2014.

Above article link: Times of Malta
Source article link: Eurostat

The great rent revolution

One credit crunch, a low-tax regime, all served sunny-side up. How the property-proud Maltese went crazy for the rental market.

The property game used to mean pulling down townhouses and erecting five-storey apartment buildings. But things have changed at quite an unprecedented pace. From sites like AirBnB allowing hassle-free renting, to second properties being snapped up for rent by… “someone in the gaming business”, it’s no longer buy-to-sell any more: it’s buy-to-rent.

Just in August, the advertised property price index compiled by the Central Bank showed an increase of 6.7% in real house prices in 2014, the highest growth since 2005. It was the first time the property price index surpassed the pre-crisis peak reached in mid-2007.
But the big money-maker became the letting market. Home-owners climbing up the property ladder are holding on to their two-bedroom apartments, and their rental income pays the mortgage.

This is thanks to a combination of factors, driven partly by a sur…

House prices in Malta up 11% - Eurostat

House prices in Malta rose by 11 per cent in the fourth quarter last year compared to the same period the previous year, according to the House Price Index. It was the second highest annual increase among the EU states for which data is available, the highest being recorded in Ireland (+16.3 per cent). Malta was followed by Sweden (10.4 per cent), Estonia (10.1 per cent) and the United Kingdom (10 per cent), and the largest fall was in Slovenia (-4.4 per cent), followed by Cyprus (-3.3 per cent), Latvia (-3.2 per cent) and Italy (-2.9 per cent).

The highest quarterly increases were recorded in Malta (4.6 per cent), Ireland (3.8 per cent), Slovakia (2.1 per cent) and Luxembourg (2 per cent), and the largest falls in Latvia (-10.2 per cent), Lithuania (-4.3 per cent) and Cyprus (-3 per cent). Over all, house prices in the fourth quarter rose by 1.1 per cent in the euro area and by 2.6 per cent in the EU compared with the same period the previous year. Compared with the previous quarter…