The positive outlook on the real estate market is not only perceived by the general public, it has been confirmed by a recent study which RE/MAX Malta commissioned through the Insight OmniBus Research initiative.
The Insight OmniBus Research is a quantitative study carried out by means of a survey using a sample of 500 respondents. The respondents are also stratified according to the various areas of Malta and Gozo.
Research is an important tool to help realtors understand the market better. Being in sync with market trends and public opinion helps the real estate market to form and adapt strategies accordingly thereby offering a more customised service to clients. The Insight OmniBus Research study follows an international framework of surveys carried out in the USA, which is used to gauge the real estate market.
The main objective of the study was to verify the broad opinion about the local real estate market today and what the public feel the outlook will be in the future. The survey also gauged public opinion in comparisons to other types of investments vis-a-vis homeownership. Furthermore, the public was asked how it felt about the impact the first time buyer subsidies had on the change (in this case, an increase) in property sales in Malta, based on national statistics, supplied by the NSO, on property sales in 2014 when compared to 2015.
The respondents were first asked whether they agreed with the positive outlook of the real estate market, of which 63% respondents either totally agreed or agreed whereas 25% answered that they neither agreed or disagreed or did not know. The next questioned respondents whether this was a good time to purchase property, for which 50.4% answered that it ‘was’ or ‘probably was’ a very good time to buy. 25.8% answered that it’s not any different from other times whereas 23.8% felt it was not a good time to buy.
In an effort to measure public opinion, respondents were asked a number of questions related to the stability of the market. To the question enquiring if they feel the market is stable the response was an encouraging 58.2% yes while 17.8% said they did not know. Respondents were then asked if they felt today’s market was stable compared to one year ago and whether they felt property prices will increase in one year from now. The results here were that 31.6% are convinced the market is stronger with 39% stating that according to them, the situation remains unchanged.
The final question addressed property prices to which 57% of the respondents answered that they believe the market prices will increase while 25% said that the market prices will remain the same.
Public opinion of homeownership is extremely high in Malta. 91.8% of the respondents feel that owning a home is a much better investment than, investing in stocks and shares, or holding bank deposits in savings or fixed deposit accounts.
Over 80% of the respondents in the survey confirmed that they felt that the first time buyer subsidy was very important and is contributing to the increase in real estate sales in Malta & Gozo. Property sales in Malta in fact increased by 23.99% in 2015, when compared to 2014, translating into an increase of some 2,500 Promises of Sale registered in 2015 over those registered in 2014. The sales were attributable to local and foreign investors, across the whole spectrum with the numbers of foreign buyers increasing steadily.
In conclusion, one can safely say that the public opinion about investment in the property market is very encouraging. Keeping in mind that this is one very important factor contributing to the continued healthy progress of the sector one could be tempted to sit back and continue to enjoy the safe ride. Reality has shown that everything in life moves in cycles and we would be narrow-minded to think that the property market sector is totally immune to these life cycles.
It our opinion Malta enjoys a particular combination of dynamics which, contrary to the belief of some sceptics, does remain unique. These factors are a mix of non-controllable and controllable elements. As long as we don’t lose focus on what is controllable and keep them in check we believe that we will continue to maintain the momentum and even if there were to be any easing in prices, solid local interest will continue to underpin the market prices to always keep this type of investment an attractive and safe bet.
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