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 surge in foreign labour attracted by the stability of the Maltese economy during the financial crisis, and the convergence of high-value service industries that have made Malta their base.

Read the original article by Matthew Vella, published 16th Sept 2015, here.


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