Showing posts from March, 2006

Property Prices "Stable"

The Times of Malta published on it's back page today 27th. March 2006 an article with the above title. The full article can be read by clicking here.

Excerpt from article:

Property prices have levelled off after a steep increase over the past few years, estate agents told The Times in reaction to a European report ranking Malta highest in the EU for property price rises in 2004.
Douglas Salt, the president of the Federation of Estate Agents, confirmed that the steepest increase in prices was seen in 2003 and 2004, adding that this was partly due to the pre- and post-EU accession exhilaration.

Personal Comment:

Also view the 2004 budget synopsis published by The Times of Malta by clicking here.
wherefrom we find the below extract:

Notification of a promise of sale

Promise of sale related to sale of property or any other transfer will be notified to the Inland Revenue Department. Upon notification, there will be paid 1% provisional duty on documents on the value of the property being transf…

Chamber of Architects condemns demolition of school in Qala

The following article was printed on The Malta Independent today 27th. March 2006. The full article can be read by clicking here and the Chamber of Architects & Civil Engineers website can be visited here to view photos and a press release download about the Qala School in focus.

The Chamber of Architects (Kamra tal-Periti) has condemned demolition work in Qala, Gozo.“Notwithstanding its strong recommendations for the Qala primary school building to be preserved, demolition works have commenced in connection with a project for a new facility for the Institute of Tourism Studies, undertaken by the Gozo Ministry and utilising European Union Funds,” the chamber said.

An excerpt from their press release titled "Is there no shame?" also downloadable here.

Demolition works in connection with a project for a new facility for the Institute of Tourism Studies have commenced at the Qala primary school building.The Kamra tal-Periti strongly condemns this vandalistic act, taken…

Accountability at the building site

On today's Times of Malta 23rd. March 2006 we find a very interesting article by Professor Lino Briguglio (click here for his bio) where he comments on the upcoming new laws and regulations to bring contractors and developers in line vis-a'-vis accountability in matters regarding any damages, and the over all cleanliness of the building sites around the island. The full text can be read here.

The article ends with the words:
"A problem often encountered by residents affected by the development is that most property developers engage many sub-contractors, with some being less considerate than others, so that when one asks the developer to be more careful, he says it's not his fault, but the contractor's, and a particular contactor says that it is not his fault but of other contractors. For this reason, it is very important that the regulations clearly identify who is responsible for the whole construction exercise, so that those affected will know exactly who is ulti…

Estate agents attack 'unfair' property tax

Parliamentary Secretary Tonio Fenech yesterday faced the frustrations of estate agents who are still not satisfied with the final withholding tax regime, despite the amendments made recently.

Mr Fenech, along with Charles Mangion, the Labour Party's main economic affairs spokesman, were guest speakers at the Vodafone Economic Forum, sponsored by Radisson, The Malta Economic Update and Progress Press.

Estate agents made it clear that they were still not happy with the amendments, despite Mr Fenech's claim that the recent changes were arrived at after consultation.

Read the full article on The Times of Malta today 18th. March 2006 by clicking here.

Impact of loan conditions on property prices in Malta

A very important article on The Times of Malta today 16th. March 2006.

"The MFSA is preparing a report which will include suggestions to help the government decide whether, and how, it could take measures regarding bank loans for property purchase, the Prime Minister told Jason Azzopardi (PN) in reply to a parliamentary question yesterday..."

and ending with:

"....including whether there was a need for regulations laying down that conditions governing property loans should be more restrictive."

The full article can be read by clicking here.

I wonder if we're looking at an introduction of buy-to-let loans, and the implementation of rental restrictions on normal house loans. Perhaps we'll also see more stringent regulations on issuing normal loans thus making the property letting market more attractive to maltese.

Time will tell.

Rent Law Reforms

Excerpt from an article published today 14th. March 2006 on the Times of Malta by Mr Victor A. Galea, President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise.

"The first urgent rectification should be the removal by law of the so-called "security of tenure" practice. For years, this created a social injustice as it offers protection not only to the incumbent tenants but also to relatives of tenants, in particular those who "abusively" moved into premises in the twilight of their relatives' lives in order to "inherit" favourable rental conditions. This practice is to be condemned as morally incorrect.
The second is liberalisation of pre-1995 residential rents. The Chamber proposes that a formula acceptable to all parties be devised with a view to hasten the liberalisation process."

Read the full article by clicking here.

Also in today's Times of Malta, we find a letter written by Klara and Peter Paschke from Grossenseebach, Germany and titl…

What is land development in Malta like, according to the State of the Environment Report 2005?

The Times of Malta today published a synopsis of the report by MEPA. The full article can be read by clicking here.

Some facts from the report:

¤ 23 per cent of Malta is urbanised, yet 23 per cent of dwellings are temporarily or permanently uninhabited.
¤ Between 2002 and August 2005, 89 historical sites and areas were protected under the Development Planning Act, covering 167 hectares of fortifications in the Grand Harbour and Mellieha areas and at Fort Chambray in Gozo.
¤ 0.09 per cent of Malta's agricultural land is under organic cultivation.

The State of the Environment Report 2005 is a Mepa publication available on

The Revised Property Sales Tax: Catalyst For Market Growth?

Vodafone Malta and Radisson SAS Bay Point Hotel have sponsored a series of economic fora organized by The Malta Economic Update magazine. On March 17th., the first forum will focus on the revised property sales tax.

Charles Mangion, opposition spokesman on finance and economic affairs, and Chris Grech, from Dhalia estate organisation, confirmed they will be speaking at the forum, the organisers said. Tonio Fenech, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance, will be guest speaker.

Wake-up the public - A better city life enviroment

On Saturday 4th. March 2006, The Times of Malta published a full page advert (read text here). by the Malta and Gozo Citizens Lobby Group. The page, being a paid advert and not an article, does not appear on the paper's online edition.

In all, over 400 signatures were collected and published, a sizeable number of which belonged to high profile people on the island.

The day after, the Sunday Times of Malta covered the whole matter under an article by Sarah Puntan-Galea, and titled "Three women set up pressure group". You can read the whole article by clicking here.

If you want to get involved call Ms Vella on: 9984-6088, e-mail:, or write to: PO Box 41, Sliema SLM 01.

Property related articles in today's newspapers

Wednesday 1st. March 2006 - From the Times of Malta, and The Malta Independent

Unacceptable development
Michael Ellul, Madliena.

I recently heard that application No. 5277/96 for Ta' Cenc has been resuscitated and the developer has submitted an Environment Impact Statement to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority. I am writing to voice my strong objection to this development.
The applicant now seeks to double the size of the existing hotel, build another hotel and construct 49 bungalows and 67 villas, all in an Outside Development Zone.......continues here.

Housing Authority to offer 419 new units.

...The building programme includes urban regeneration projects in Cospicua, Floriana and Valletta and the construction of new apartment blocks in various localities like Pembroke, Mriehel, Mtarfa, Qawra, Kalkara, Mgarr, Naxxar and others.
In all, the Housing Authority will provide 419 new units - 359 flats and 60 maisonettes - as well as about 500 garages. The estimated cost amounts to…

Mepa's non-enforcement - David Pace, President Chamber of Architects

The Times of Malta dated 28th. February 2006 published a very significant letter sent in by Mr. David Pace, President of the Chamber of Architects (Kamra tal-Periti) addressing the Xemxija road collapse, and the more recent mudslide following illegal excavations by Polidano Brothers.
Asfaltar Ltd. was awarded a 6 million euro contract for rebuilding the 2.7km.Xemxija bypass in question. The company is also part of the GAP Joint venture consortium together with Polidano Brothers and Gatt Brothers.

Below is part of Mr. David Pace's letter, and the full text can be read by clicking here.

Mepa's non-enforcement(segments of the letter)

" this particular case the KTP however finds it strange that:
The damage to the St Paul's Bay bypass above the rear end of the Xemxija plot has been allowed to remain for years now, with one lane actually been cordoned off as a precaution."

"......according to the Mepa website, that part of the site near the bypass and where…

BICC excavation policy framework

The Times of Malta of 26th. February 2006 published in it's "Opinion" coloumn and article by Mr. Robert Musumeci. The first few paragraphs are below, and the full article can be read by clicking here. The BICC website can be found here.

"Architect and chairman of the Building Industry Consultative Council within the Ministry for Resources and Infrastructure Robert Musumeci explains a new concept regulating excavation works
As property prices go up, planning regulations to curb urban sprawl become more restricted and policy regulations compel more developers to provide on-site car park provision, our local construction industry has been witnessing a marked increase in excavation works.

Under these circumstances, the BICC has prepared a guiding framework aimed to review current legislation consistent with emerging building needs and general public safety."