Showing posts from 2011

Short-term Construction Indicators: Q3/2011 - Malta National Satistics Office

A sample survey carried out among construction enterprises showed that employment went down by 2.5 per cent, wages and salaries decreased by 2.7 per cent and hours worked declined by 5.7 per cent when compared to the third quarter last year.

Date Published: 20-Dec-2011
Reference: 242/2011

View report here.
Source: NSO

Malta Housing Authority seeks property for rent, to sublet at subsidised rates

The Housing Authority has launched a new rental scheme through which property owners can rent their premises to the authority that will then sublease it to tenants at subsidised rates.
Property owners will benefit from a reduced tax rate of five percent on their guaranteed rental income and will enter a contract with the authority for a minimum of 10 years, said Housing Authority Chairman Charles Borg.

The property must be finished, have all necessary planning permits and be up to standard.
An independent board will evaluate property to ensure it matches standards and to determine how much the authority will pay, in commercial rates, depending on the location and size of the property.

The authority will then sublease the property at a subsidised rate, Mr Borg said. He added that the authority will take the responsibility of the property once leased. The authority would be strict when it came to regulating tenants as it did not want to discourage property owners from entering the schem…

New environment permits system announced by MEPA

A new draft environmental permits system has been drawn up by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) to improve the regulatory framework applicable to industrial activities of environmental significance.

The Authority said the proposed system will improve the protection of the environment, while offering several advantages to industry, such as legal certainty, clearer definition of environmental liability and the opportunity to identify priority environmental issues to enable appropriate risk management.
"The system which is risk-based, focuses the regulatory efforts on activities with potentially significant environmental impacts. Examples of such facilities would include fuel and container terminals, shipyards, airports, batching plants, quarries, fish farms, waste management activities, industrial activities with a discharge to sea and certain manufacturing plants," it said.

Businesses that carry out such activities will be required to apply for an environmen…

Malta, Bermuda, sign tax information exchange agreement

A tax information exchange agreement has been signed between Malta and Bermuda.
Bermuda’s Ministry of Finance said the agreement was signed in London by Maltese High Commissioner Joseph Zammit Tabona and by Premier Paula Cox J.P. for Bermuda.
The TIEA provides for a full exchange of information between the two countries on tax matters. Premier Cox said this was a further demonstration of Bermuda’s commitment to being a responsible player in the global finance sector.

Read the full article here.

Malta Budget 2012 - Property sales, rentals and conservation incentives

Budget 2012 
Housing Highlights

Full report available from KPMG in pdf file format here.

In order to promote the regeneration of urban zones, a number of incentives are being introduced with respect to the acquisition, restoration and conservation of scheduled buildings in Grades 1 and 2 and properties in Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs):

1. Property transferred between heirs is exempt from duty on documents on transfers until 31st. December 2013;

2 A 20% rebate of costs of restoration (up to a maximum of €5,000) to individuals who restore their property;

3. Individuals or companies investing in the restoration of their properties for the purpose of sale or rent may benefit from the following concessions:

i. Income from rent of residential purposes: subject to a 10% final withholding tax;ii. Income from rent for commercial purposes: subject to a 15% final withholding tax; andiii. Income from property sale: subject to a 10% (instead of 12%) final withholding tax on the sales proceeds or 30…

UK tax axe falls on overseas property investors

Overseas property owners based in the UK are about to be targeted by a new HM Revenue & Customs "affluent unit", which has been set up by the British government to address what it sees as tax avoidance by the rich.

A new team of 200 taxation investigators and specialists has been established by HMRC to identify wealthy individuals who, amongst other things, own land and property abroad … such as a holiday home.

OPP understands that the tax attack unit will concentrate on overseas property assets first, and then switch its attention to UK-based commodity traders (who have been accused of helping to drive up food prices,) before looking into the number of UK residents who hold offshore investment accounts.

HMRC says that it will be using sophisticated "data mining" techniques to try and track down people who own overseas properties, but do not pay the right amount of tax.

Read the full article dated 07 Nov 2011 on OPP (Overseas Property Professional) here.

Hong Kong and Malta sign tax treaty

Hong Kong and Malta have signed a double taxation avoidance agreement and the prevention of fiscal evasion.
The agreement was signed today by Professor K C Chan, representing Hong Kong, and ambassador Joseph Cassar.......

"The CDTA clearly sets out the allocation of taxing rights between the two jurisdictions and the relief on tax rates on different types of passive income, thus helping investors to better assess their potential tax liabilities from cross-border economic activities. The agreement will boost closer economic and trade ties between the two places, and provide added incentives for companies in Malta to do business or invest in Hong Kong, and vice versa," the Hong Kong government said in a statement.

Read the full article on The Times of Malta here.

Tigne Point highrise tower planning application withdrawn - To be replaced by open landscaped area.

Plans to build a high-rise tower at Tigné Point have been scrapped, The Times can reveal. Instead, the tower, which was proposed by real estate developer Midi and opposed by Sliema residents, will be replaced by open landscaped space.

The consortium, which owns the multimillion euro project in Sliema, has withdrawn its planning application to amend the Tigné north master plan. Sliema residents and those who registered a formal objection to the development application have been told about the change in plans in a letter from the planning authority.

“The planning authority has been notified by the applicant of the withdrawal of the application, which was intended to amend the Tigné north master plan,” the letter said.

Read the full Times of Malta article here.

18th November deadline for regularisation of short let property adverts in Malta

20th October 2011
Circular to members

Further to a meeting with the Quality Assurance Department of the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) it was brought to our attention that, according to Section 13 of the Tourism Operations (General) Regulations of the 31st May 2002 as amended (Subsidiary Legislation 409.08), all advertised holiday rental properties have to feature the MTA licence number.

13. (1) No person, may at any time, describe or advertise any tourism operation unless -
(a) there is a valid licence in respect of such tourism operation;
(b) he has obtained the prior approval of the trading name from the Authority.
(2) Every tourism operation shall quote the licence number in every advertisement, publication, leaflet, brochure, broadcast or other publication of whatever kind and in any reference whatsoever.

We have reached an agreement that we shall be notifying our members to regularize themselves concerning any advertising or electronic marketing of any of these properties by …

Malta Finance Minister in High Networth Individuals Scheme launch this morning

EU nationals must spend a minimum of €400,000 on the property or €20,000 a year in rent.

Malta Finance Minister Tonio Fenech this morning launched the long awaited replacement to the Malta permanent residence scheme which was suspended earlier this year 2011. The new "High Networth Individuals Scheme" is designed to dissuade people from coming to Malta and buying a property without contributing to the local economy.

The new scheme now requires foreigners seeking to buy a property in Malta, to spend a minimum of €400,000, up from the previous minimum of €116,000, and to spend at least 90 days  a year on the Maltese islands.

The new regulations are two-tiered, one for EU nationals and one for third country nationals.

Applications may only be submitted through authorised Maltese warrant holders, registered with the inland revenue department.

Read further details on The Times of Malta online, here.

VAT on Malta accommodation to foreigners - Renting property to foreigners.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
by Simon Busuttil MEP

Renting property to foreigners
Carmel Farrugia writes:

A foreign resident who is a citizen of an EU country and is living and working in Malta as his principal place of residence is still considered as a tourist for the purposes of renting property in Malta. As such, he is required to pay VAT on accommodation.
I feel that he should not and cannot be considered a tourist particularly if he is a citizen of an EU country. There is a one-year limit but this should not come into the equation at all because it does not apply in the case of a Maltese citizen.

Am I right or wrong in this context? Why should he be treated differently from a Maltese citizen and be made to pay VAT?

The reader is referring to the imposition of value added tax (VAT) on the lease of property by EU citizens who are not Maltese.
The VAT law in Malta makes it clear that the letting of or the provision of accommodation in any premises that is required to be licensed in…

Malta Authority to issue new home loan regulations - Consumer Protection

Parliamentary Secretary Chris Said announced earlier this morning, the imminent launch of new regulations to govern home loan agreements here in Malta. He declared that the aim was to give consumers the highest level of protection possible when taking one of life's most important and costly decisions, to secure a property loan.

The new regulations although in line with a proposed European Union directive to protect home loans, are being implemented locally and independently by the Maltese Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority.

Central Bank of Malta Financial Stability Report 2010

The Central Bank of Malta has released today June 24, 2011, its third Financial Stability Report for 2010. The cut-off point for data collected is March 11, 2011, unless otherwise indicated.

New Malta Permanent Residence Schemes announced

Earlier this evening June 16, Malta Finance Minister Tonio Fenech announces in parliament, a raft of new schemes to replace the recently suspended Permanent Residents Scheme (PRS).

Follow this article link for further coverage by The Times of Malta online.

Fundamental changes for Malta notaries - Updated March 22, 2012

Restrictions to a notarial profession here in Malta, currently rendering it exclusive to Maltese nationals, is set to change following a recent ECJ (European Court of Justice) ruling, and subsequent press release on May 24, 2011.
Infringement procedures against Malta were commenced by Brussels back in 2006, citing a breach of establishment rules due to such restrictions, however the commission had refrained from taking further action, pending this ECJ ruling.

The right to notarial exclusivity to nationals in their respective countries was also argued by Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal, on the basis that notaries were public officials and therefore exempt from anti-discrimination laws. However the ECJ countered that the binding nature of legal contracts is derived from their basis in law, and not from any power devolved to notaries, who are solely authenticators of the legal documents.

The Sunday Times of Malta, June 5, 2011,  also reports  an EU offic…

Lawyers urge consultation on ‘excessive’ permanent residents’ scheme rules

Chamber of Advocates calls for consultation on new rules to end prolonged suspension of permanent residency scheme.

The Chamber of Advocates has expressed concern at the lack of government consultation on the suspension of the residence scheme regulations, previously brought to public attention by the Chamber of Commerce.

The rules facilitate the entry and indefinite stay of foreigners to Malta who must first fulfil eligibility rules on heir good standing, minimum income, and wealth requirements – primarily attracting affluent workers. But they were abruptly stopped by the finance ministry over suspicion of abuse.

The Chamber’s secretary-general Stefan Camilleri said the scheme had been abused by a “minority of advisors and real estate agents locally and board who highlighted too commercially the indirect legal consequences of taking up residence in Malta to further their business interests.”

Camilleri hinted that a significant incident where an EU national had qualified for overseas …

How to increase the sale value of your property

Here's an excellent short article from about increasing the value of your property for sale.

Understand first of all that there IS a difference between price and value. Price is the amount you are asking for the property. Value is buyer perceived, and this perception of value is influenced by many factors such as location, features, condition, comparison to other purchase option, etc. By attending to details that can have a positive impact on the value, sellers can significantly increase their chance of attracting qualified buyers willing to pay the asking price. Some tips to achieve a positive impact on value are: Perceived size impacts value, even more so than actual square footage. Open floor plans make a room feel bigger than larger spaces with smaller rooms. Showing property that is furniture free, or at reduced clutter, helps to make the space feel bigger.Vacancy increases sale-ability. Property is easier to show and easier to sell, and quicker to take possession of …

Letter to the Editor - The Times of Malta

Tuesday, April 19, 2011, by John Hollamby, St Julians

Lack of meaningful statistics on property

There is a huge investment in property development, house and apartment ownership, mortgage investment etc. in Malta.
It follows therefore that there should be first-class analysis of trends in values, numbers of transactions and other important matters such as the number of vacant properties forming developers’ land banks, vacant new build property and no doubt many other critical pieces of information to enable the state as well as investors, would-be purchasers and sellers, mortgage providers and so on to make their decisions on a basis of reliable information.
However, the only published statistics, so far as I can see, is an analysis based on the number of properties being advertised and the asking prices. It is a fact of life that estate agents everywhere almost invariably suggest inflated prices in the hope of selling to an uninformed purchaser and also to attempt to “talk up the mark…

Kenneth J. Borg wants to stay in touch on LinkedIn

LinkedInI'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Kenneth J. Borg
Managing Director
Malta Confirm that you know Kenneth J. © 2011, LinkedIn Corporation

Residency scheme must not strain economy, says Fenech

A revised permanent residency scheme must ensure high-value people attracted to Malta contribute to the country’s economy rather than strain it, Finance Minister Tonio Fenech said yesterday.
The new scheme, intended to replace the one suspended in December, must strike a balance between the payback for the country and the strain caused by the benefits people taking up such a scheme were offered, he said.

Mr Fenech said talks were under way with the European Commission, which was approached by people who took advantage of the scheme and received their permanent residency permits and who asked for clarifications because they wanted more benefits.
The property scheme for foreigners was suspended after several cases prompted a rethink of the system, to the dismay of the real estate industry, which last year saw 151 foreigners buying €35 million worth of property.

One of the cases involved an elderly British cancer patient who received €500,000 worth of free treatment in Malta after buying…

Holding up justice on sale of house - Letter to Times of Malta (Tues 8th February 2011)

Holding up justice on sale of house
Emanuel L. Vella, Ta’ Giorni

Whoever was in any doubt that certain Maltese lawyers are indeed to blame for the inordinate delays in (and therefore denial of) justice is free to consider what follows.

On March 25, 2010, a house was sold by judicial auction (sub asta) with proceeds of over €100,000. The successful bidder duly paid up the following week and all that remained (or so it was thought) was for the actor’s lawyer to make recourse with a view to ordering the distribution of the proceeds.

There are three lawyers involved in this matter: one each for the two sides and a third who represents two particular families. But after more than 10 months the funds are still held up in court because the actor’s lawyer, in spite of several reminders and entreaties by the actor himself, has still not made a move. The reason given? He had “more important things to attend to”! For all of 10 months!

One of the other lawyers is proven to have done the legwork a…

PQ 22776 - Statistika mill-NSO rigward prezzijiet tal-proprjetà (NSO statistics re property prices)

Leġislatura XI Kategorija ORAL
Mistoqsija Numru: 22776 Data: 14/01/2011
Seduta: 306 - 26/01/2011 06:00 PM
Seduta Interim:
Titlu: statistika mill-NSO rigward prezzijiet tal-proprjetà
staqsa lill-Onorevoli TONIO FENECH (Ministru tal-Finanzi, l-Ekonomija u Investiment):

Billi skont rapporti fil-media qed jingħad li l-NSO ħarġet statistika li turi li matul l-aħħar 12-il xahar kien hemm żieda ta' iktar minn 10% fil-prezz f'dawk li huma housing u enerġija, jista' l-Ministru jagħti tagħrif dwar x'jaqa' taħt dawn iż-żewġ kategoriji għal dak li jirrigwarda din l-istatistika, għaliex m'hemmx dubju li matul dan il-perjodu l-prezz tal-proprjetà naqas u mhux żdied?

Nassumi li l-Onor. Interpellant qed jirreferi għal statistika relatata mal-indiċi armonizzat tal-prezzijiet (HICP). Il-kategorija numru 4 hija magħmula minn:

- kera mħallsa fuq proprjetà
- materjal użat għall-manteniment tad-dar
- servizzi relatati mal-manteniment tad-dar
- ilma

PQs - Pending Planning Applications with MEPA

Leġislatura XI Kategorija ORAL
Mistoqsija Numru: 20356 Data: 18/10/2010
Seduta: 266 - 25/10/2010 06:00 PM
Seduta Interim: 305 25/01/2011 06:00 PM
Titlu: Awtorità ta' Malta dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar - ammont pendenti ta' applikazzjonijiet
staqsa lill-Onorevoli LAWRENCE GONZI (Prim Ministru):

Jista' l-Prim Ministru jgħid kemm huwa l-ammont pendenti ta' applikazzjonijiet li hemm quddiem l-Awtorità ta' Malta dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar?

Ninforma lill-Onorevoli Interpellant li skont is-sistema ta’ l-informatika tal-Awtorità ta’ Malta dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar, l-Awtorità għandha quddiema erbat elef ħames mija u disgħa u tmenin (4589) applikazzjoni għall-ewwel deċiżjoni u tmin mija u tnejn u sittin (862) applikazzjoni għal “reconsideration”.

Solar roof rights - Legislation - PQ 22347

Leġislatura XI Kategorija ORAL
Mistoqsija Numru: 22347 Data: 22/12/2010
Seduta: 302 - 18/01/2011 06:00 PM
Seduta Interim:
Titlu: Leġislazzjoni fuq solar roof rights
staqsa lill-Onorevoli GEORGE PULLICINO (Ministru għar-Riżorsi u Affarijiet Rurali):

Jista' l-Ministru jgħid fiex waslet il-leġislazzjoni li kien qed jikkunsidra l-gvern dwar solar roof rights kif kienet issuġġeriet l-Oppozizzjoni Laburista żmien ilu?

Jien infurmat li l-qafas legali li jista' jirregola s-solar roof rights għad irid jiġi determinat fil-kuntest ta' liġijiet oħra bħalma huma dawk tal-ippjanar u l-proprjetà privata. Qed isiru laqgħat bejn uffiċjali tal-MRRA u entitajiet oħra għal dan il-għan.