The Prime Minister this week touted the record-high sales of property registered during July, August and September as the result of the trust engendered by his Government’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that these three months saw the highest-ever levels of property sales ever recorded, with the total value of transfers reaching €850 million, a €110 million increase over the same period last year.
Measures to bolster the property market, which took a severe hit between March and June, were a central part of the economic recovery plan released in June.
These included a reduction in tax on property sales from eight to five per cent and a similar cut on purchases where the tax on the first €400,000 was reduced from five per cent to 1.5 per cent.
First time buyers who were previously ineligible for the scheme due to owning a garage or being part-owners of another property were also made eligible for the exemption on stamp duty on the first €175,000 of the value of the property.
The Prime Minister said that the record figures amidst the “storm” showcase the Government’s capable hands.
Mr Abela concluded the segment by saying, “It’s a question of trust.”
In an analysis WhosWho.mt conducted in September about the high number of transfers recorded over the summer, Keith Galdies, CTO of Djar, which runs a property portal providing detailed market analysis of the local real estate market, attributed the figures in large part to the significant slowdown seen in the preceding months, while acknowledging the part played by the measures.
Mr Galdies had remarked, “When viewed together with incentives and the situation at the time, record sales in July are a consequence of little-to-no sales recorded in the previous months”.
MDA chief Sandro Chetcuti had meanwhile pointed out that without the measures introduced by Government, people would have adopted a “wait-and-see" approach, raising the possibility of the property market stagnating.
Prime Minister Robert Abela - DOI