Grant Thornton Malta and Dhalia have joined forces to create a break-through report that offers new insights into Malta and Gozo’s property market.
Named The Malta Property Landscape: a true picture, the recently launched study focuses on property prices for both renting and purchasing properties in Malta and Gozo.
In stark contrast to the currently held limited and unreliable overview of the local real estate market, this report provides both extraordinary detail and in-depth expert analysis – helping policymakers, businesses and people investing in property to make informed choices.
“The debate on this industry is wide and subjective, without enough facts being put forward,” says George Vella, Partner and Head of Advisory at Grant Thornton Malta, who has more than 15 years of experience in corporate and project finance, research and development, strategic and project management.
“The only information currently available is the regularly issued Central Bank of Malta (CBM) and National Statistics Office price indices and the Malta Developers Association’s press releases relating to the number of permits issued, as well as ad hoc publications issued by fellow professional services firms and research papers published by the CBM.
“We felt the need to conduct this study and report the findings, to contribute to a more informed debate on what makes this industry at the moment – and we have done so by delving into the basics and understanding the fundamentals.”
The report attempts to offer definitive answers to key questions relating to local real estate, including the source of property demand and why that demand remains high. It also looks at how many new properties are entering the market and at what price, whether these prices are moving towards affordability, and how the rental market is responding to the different market forces at play.
Beyond that, it includes insights into return on investment, property valuation and selling and rental price changes.
To create the report, Grant Thornton Malta analysts used Dhalia’s high-quality database on Malta and Gozo’s property market, consisting of more than 65,000 local property transactions painstakingly compiled by Dhalia agents over several years to enable rigorous analysis.
Applying an innovative methodology, the Grant Thornton team organised the data to develop the indices in a ground-breaking level of detail that compares the unique characteristics of each property and acknowledges the significance of their differences when it comes to policy, business and investment decisions.
In fact, the report offers a fresh perspective on Malta’s property market in many ways. As Mr Vella highlights: “First, we work with transacted prices, not advertised prices.
“Second, no property is like another. So, with the application of the hedonic pricing model, we give a value to the characteristics of each property and then use regression analysis to value other properties, as is the widely recognised best model for property valuation.
“Third, we not only review purchase prices but study the rental market in detail. We also perform an affordability analysis over a specific period to identify how this has changed over time, and carry out a rental yield analysis by district, to check on the continued relevance of this asset type as an investment class.”
As a result of the study, Mr Vella hopes that real estate clients and property investors alike will benefit from newly available, factually accurate data.
“Millions of euro are invested into this industry every year,” he says. “The inspiration for the report arose from the question, ‘Would you alter your decisions if you saw what we see?’ The massive number of transactions that take place in this industry make it data-rich, so it was a natural progression to apply our skill in making it more accessible to anyone who wants an informed opinion of the market, while supporting the decision-making process of potential property investors.”
Grant Thornton delivers a wide range of financial and business services and innovative solutions to all business challenges. Grant Thornton Malta is a member of Grant Thornton International, a global organisation of member firms with 58,000 people in over 138 countries.
“In our core business at Grant Thornton, we provide debt advisory services to clients where we hold a dual fiduciary responsibility towards our customers and their bankers,” shares Mr Vella.
“We are also active as reporting accountants when it comes to raising bonds and equities on the local market. Here, again, we take our dual fiduciary responsibility towards developers and their bond and equity holders seriously. We cannot uphold these responsibilities without investing in proper market knowledge that not only provides explanations as to what happened in the past, but also gives strong insights as to what could happen in the future.”
With the introduction of the report as a bi-annual publication, Grant Thornton aims to fill this information gap for years to come. “We have decided to embark on this journey for the long-term. Real estate in Malta is a huge industry and should be treated as such, with decisions based on tangible facts and not hunches. We believe this is an excellent tool, not only for the developer but also the public. Before any investment, one can now have the facts in-hand,” Mr Vella concludes.
To download a sample copy of the report or order the full version, visit https://maltapropertylandscape.mt/. More information about Grant Thornton Malta is also available at www.grantthornton.com.mt.