2013 A Year of opportunities for property buyers and investors
Frank Salt Real Estate registered a growth of 14% throughout its operations last year, reflecting the success of the company’s growth strategy and its role as Malta’s leading estate agency.
The Company’s Annual General Conference was held at the end of March at the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard. During the evening, the company directors explained how the company performed throughout the previous twelve months and also set out its roadmap for the coming year. Sales to foreign buyers remained on the same level as those of the previous year, with Malta capturing foreign interest not only as a holiday home or a residency option, but also as an investment opportunity. In fact, more than 20% of total sales were investment purchases, either for capital appreciation, or more frequently as rental investments.
Looking at the local market, whilst this is still fuelled by first time buyers, a very strong improvement was registered amongst second time buyers, which saw an increase of 36% in sales. The average price of properties sold also went up, with a particular increased interest in terraced houses and houses of character. ‘These are clear indications that the property market is moving in the right direction” said Managing Director Joseph Lupi during his presentation to the 100+ team of consultants and associates that work with the company.“Despite the global financial crisis, we still registered a good year throughout most of our operations and we see great opportunities for buyers and investors during 2013.”
The rental market is also growing steadily with company revenue from this division growing by 29% in 2012. “We are seeing an ever-growing demand for quality rental properties”stated Mr Lupi, “More foreigners are coming to Malta to relocate, work or retire here, whilst rentals by the local market is also on the fast-track, with many opting to rent out first whilst hunting for their ideal property to purchase. We expect this market to double in size during the next two years. This is creating an increasing demand for good quality property for long lets which we urgently need to add to our property portfolio”.
“This year we hope to see a number of measures, which were announced in the last budget last year and which will help boost the property market. These include relaxation of capital gains tax regulations, reduction in stamp duty, reduction in income tax on rentals and a revision of the permanent residency scheme, particularly those affecting non EU residents.
The commercial division also registered positive growth, with the number of enquiries generated in 2012 growing by more than 200% when compared to those of the previous year. This was partly thanks to the company’s restructuring strategy to have a dedicated division focusing on Commercial Property, which division is being further developed in 2013. In the first quarter of 2013, the company has also embarked on an aggressive recruitment drive aimed at enrolling more consultants to cater for the expected increase in sales and lettings demand for both residential and commercial properties.
During the conference, awards were handed out for Best Sales and Letting Consultants – going to George Vassallo and Ludwig Farrugia respectively, as well as Best Branch which was won by the Marsascala Branch. Other awards and company appointments were announced. Presentations were also given by company chairman, Mr. Frank Salt, director Grahame Salt, Marketing manager Nick Bilocca and Kevin Fenci from Fenci Consultancy.