I sometimes want to pinch myself being born and bred Maltese, when I see the extraordinary construction boom going on around us, which all has its beginnings from when Malta joined Europe 13 years ago and adopted the Euro currency thereafter.
This line in the sand changed the perception of Malta from a tiny rock in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, to that of being part of a much bigger continent; Europe and all that which goes with it, freedom of movement and a World class stable currency, the Euro. This has encouraged many overseas companies to relocate to our shores, both in the financial services industry and that of the unheard of till a few years ago; I GAMING business which today accounts for double digit GDP growth of our economy.
We are now witnessing new Government schemes to encourage non EU nationals to opt for our Citizenship or Residency schemes by their thousands. This is creating a business in its own right and having a very positive ripple effect on the Maltese economy and Property values, as part of the requirements for such schemes is the mandatory purchase or rental of property in Malta or Gozo.
Today Malta has only 4 high Towers built; incredibly, over 25 more have recently been given the green light by the Planning Authority. This gives you a clear indication of the massive increase in Development to come over the next 5 to 10 years. All of this just to catch up with the demand we have coming from these industries that are growing by leaps and bounds. This demand is mainly for bespoke office and residential developments or mixed use with shopping Malls in tow.
Besides the golden Mile, where most of the activity is centered, we are witnessing new towns being built up from Scratch. One fine example is Smart city in the South of the island which today has a cluster of office blocks and is about to see a new residential and shopping Mall built over the next 4 years. To serve this new area of business activity, a new hospital and a Marriott hotel is also being built within the city.
We are witnessing new industries such as Health, Tourism and Education tourism, all contributing to more and more demand for property on the island. Unfortunately though, our infrastructure particularly the road network, leaves a lot to be desired and we are constantly doing catch up on this front at the frustration of our nation who spends far too much time commuting instead being productive.
Interestingly enough rental income still generates a yield of over 5 % in many cases for a property investment; this is enticing many local and international investors to have a Malta property portfolio as part of their international holdings, particularly to those who want a good return on capital together with long-term capital growth.
Whilst we expect the market to continue to grow, we must be mindful that the Maltese Government has an import role in ensuring that they continue to invest in the islands’ expanding infrastructure. Especially if we are to expect major International companies to fly the Maltese flag.