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Marry, Inherit, Rent Or Move To Gozo: Maltese Economist Warns Homeseekers On Average Wage Only Have Four Options

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Providing a blunt breakdown of the Maltese housing market, an economist has warned that property is fast becoming unaffordable for people earning an average salary.

Glen Spiteri, who recently co-authored a study on housing affordability with fellow economist Marie Briguglio, said the findings revealed that a person earning an average wage of €1,600 a month can only afford a property worth around €96,000.

“A person earning an average wage can rent out any property they want but buying one is less possible, although there are some properties they can afford,” he told TVM.

“Obviously we aren’t talking about luxury or dream homes but properties that are decent enough to live in.”

Spiteri said homeseekers earning an average wage have essentially been left with four options – get married or cohabit and take out a joint loan, receive an inheritance, rent a property or relocate to Gozo, where property is cheaper.

“Gozo offers an alternative. It isn’t a solution but it does provide an alternative for youths who want to leave their parents’ home early,” he said.

The study notes that while property is expensive in many cities worldwide, the main difference between Malta and other countries is that in other countries, people can relocate to cheaper homes on the outskirts of the city and commute.

People in Malta don’t have that luxury, and the two economists linked this to the prolonged delay in young people leaving the parental home.

Spiteri and Briguglio urged the government to intervene further in the market through schemes such as tax deductions, housing allowances, subsidised loans and investment grants, which they said must come attached with conditions to avoid inflationary side-effects.

They also called for the amendment of planning laws to facilitate the development of smaller apartments and affordable housing and incentives for developers to construct or rehabilitate affordable housing. 

Are Malta’s property prices too expensive?

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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