Rental prices in Malta have surged in recent years and the average rent of a single bedroom flat is now higher than the national minimum wage. However, the situation does not seem to be of any great concern to finance minister Edward Scicluna, who said yesterday the rent issue “is not a crisis”.
As reported by the Times of Malta, Scicluna was asked by journalists whether the government’s upcoming Budget for 2018 will include some sort of regulation on the rental property market. In response, he said internal discussions are underway but it wasn’t a priority for the government, seeing as over 80% of Maltese householders are homeowners.
He acknowledged a cohort of Maltese people – particularly young adults, separated people and single parents – have been impacted by higher rent prices. However, he blamed this reality on market forces – essentially demand for rent is outpacing the supply of property up for rent.
“We have to find solutions, but the major problem is that the rental housing supply has not kept up with demand and this has driven prices up,” Scicluna said.
A recent study by Lovin Malta shows rent prices across Malta have skyrocketed in recent years. The price of a one-bedroom flat has shot up from an average €438 in 2012 to an average of €760 in 2017.
Two-bedroom flats shot up from an average €622 to €985 in the same time period, while three-bedroom flats increased from an average €819 to €1,316. This means an average one-bedroom apartment now costs almost as much as a three-bedroom flat used to cost five years ago.