The Malta Independent 3 February 2023, Friday
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Estate Agents dispel misleading interpretation of property market statistics

Tuesday, 24 January 2023, 09:50 Last update: about 9 days ago

The Estate Agents Section said Tuesday that statistics published recently about the performance of the property market in December 2022 may be misleading.

In December 2022, the number of final deeds of sale relating to residential property amounted to 1,003, a 28.8% decrease when compared to those registered a year earlier, figures released by the NSO show.

Speaking on behalf of the board of the Estate Agents Section, its Head Michael Bonello, explained that December 2021 was the closing date for reduced tax and stamp duty schemes that were first introduced as a temporary measure during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“We had seen a massive amount of market activity generated directly through those incentives”, he explained, and went on to elaborate that December 2021 was a record month even when compared to the same month in all previous years. This was an exceptional increase that none of us were realistically expecting to keep going on after the incentives were to be stopped.” he continued.

The Covid-19 incentives had then been extended to June 2022 and the buoyant market had extended over the first few months of that year, as more property buyers and sellers realised they may still be in time to benefit from the very attractive savings. Through those measures, property sellers were allowed to pay a reduced 5% rate of property tax and buyers could pay a 1.5% rate on the first €400,000 of a property's value in stamp duty.

“Whilst there is persistent talk of a ‘property bubble’ from various quarters who may be motivated to push this narrative, our experience on the ground is that there is no credible sign of this happening any time soon,” concluded Bonello.

The Malta Developers Association is in agreement with the Estate Agents Section. MDA president Michael Stivala told The Malta Independent that the number of promise-of-sale agreements in 2022 was normal and there is no need to worry about the bursting of any property market bubble.

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