There are very good prospects for the property market for the second half of 2010 and for 2011. This was announced by Company Director Douglas Salt, during the Frank Salt Real Estate’s Annual General Conference held in April at the Excelsior hotel in Floriana. Despite the global financial crisis, Frank Salt Real Estate still registered a good year throughout most of its operations during 2009 and sees great opportunities for buyers during 2010, particularly where it comes to first time buyers.
The global recession took its greatest toll on the company’s overseas operations, which in the first 6 months of 2009 saw a considerable drop in demand by overseas buyers mostly from the UK, Malta’s largest market. However, a considerable improvement was already registered in the second half, particularly in the last three months of the year, and the first three months of 2010. As expected, this drop in demand from the British market was mostly attributed to the adverse housing market in the UK plus the drop in the value of the Sterling against the Euro. The company however took several counter measures, particularly thanks to its investment in a number of new markets.
In his speech, Joseph Lupi, Managing Director, confirmed that where it comes to the local market, this had stabilised itself with a positive increase over 2008 figures. This was attributed mainly due to the favourable home loan interest rates, the extensive choice of great value properties, and the increasing demand for buy-to-let properties. The company has registered a marginal improvement in sales to second time buyers, albeit the average value of properties sold was lower, with prices having adjusted themselves to reflect the current market conditions.
Throughout 2009 Frank Salt concentrated on consolidating its existing team of property consultants, whilst it also undertook an exercise to engage more professionals. This was backed by aggressive training and other internal initiatives, as well as the introduction of higher yield remuneration packages. The letting operations also registered a considerable increase in the overall setup of the company. Apart from augmenting its team of letting consultants, the Company has initiated a campaign to register more letting properties and to create greater awareness on the value of purchasing a buy-to-let property. Activity in the commercial property sector has also been very promising with increasing interest in office space, particularly from overseas. Mr. Lupi announced the appointment of Commercial Manager, Mr. Joseph G. Pace and the opening of a new office in Sliema to house the Letting Division and the Commercial Property Division.
Details of the Company’s marketing plan for 2010 were also given out. These included a good number of initiatives targeting the foreign market which is showing signs of recovery, of overseas property fairs throughout the year and other activities to be undertaken with the company’s overseas associates.
‘I believe that the first time buyer is still going to play a very important role during this year and this augurs well for the second time buyer market as this will move as a consequence.
We can also see an increasing interest from overseas buyers as most countries are recovering from the global financial crisis. Judging by the results of the first quarter of this year where we have seen substantial increases in sales and lettings, I believe 2010 promises to be a very good year.’
‘2010 is also seeing a healthy increase in demand for commercial office and shop space’ added Douglas Salt. ‘This augurs very well not only for the property market, but for the Maltese economy as a whole’.
During the conference, awards were handed out for Best Sales and Letting Consultants 2009, Best Employee 2009, Best Secretary 2009 and Best Branch which was won by the Fgura Branch.
The conference which was attended by the staff, Company Associates and guests was opened by the Chairman, Mr. Frank Salt who on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Company highlighted some of the achievements of the Company, throughout these years.