Malta's Rental Market

The rental market in Malta has enjoyed a boom over recent years – and it looks set to keep gaining momentum throughout 2019.

With a paradigm shift in the way locals are renting property, and a steady influx of foreigners seeking accommodation while they work in the ever-growing gaming and financial services sectors, Malta’s rental market is thriving.

Here are some of the latest trends that are set to make 2019 another busy year for Malta’s rental market.

A Central Focus

Gone are the days when demand for rental property focused almost entirely on the tourist-oriented, business hub northern towns of Sliema and St Julian’s. In 2019, the local rental market is already experiencing a promising shift in demand towards properties located in the central area of the country, most notably in the Balzan, Lija and Attard localities.

Although the properties available in these areas are still reasonably priced and often cheaper than the traditional rental epicentres of Sliema and St Julian’s, the increased popularity and demand is already inspiring a construction boom of apartment buildings in these central and southern areas, that may soon increase rental prices towards northern locality levels.

Apartments, please

While the number of property availabilities on the rental market remains high, with a variety of property types, locations, sizes and amenities suitable for every budget, apartments and maisonettes continue to be in the most demand.

Although internal space is naturally still an important consideration, many potential tenants are increasingly also seeking outdoor space attached to these single-tiered properties, such as terraces or large balconies on which to entertain, relax, and make the most of the warm, sunny Mediterranean climate.

The Rise of the Business Sectors

There’s no denying that the impact of the iGaming market on Malta has been huge. As a noted international gaming hub, Malta has welcomed numerous big-name gaming companies as they have set-up on the island, super-boosting the local economy as well as Malta’s business reputation on a global scale.

Meanwhile, this new business boom has also had a positive effect upon the local rental market, as these arriving organisation’s foreign employees move to the island and seek rented accommodation. In fact, this influx of expat workers for the iGaming industry continues to account for around 40 per cent of the local rental market.

In 2019, the ongoing success of the gaming sector in Malta is set to be matched by the steady upward trajectory of the financial services sector, particularly in the areas of blockchain and cryptocurrency, signalling a further increase in demand of rental properties for incoming foreign talent.

European Competitors

Although the high quality of the lifestyle found in Malta is internationally renowned, rental prices locally are still cheaper when compared to the rest of Europe.

However, this comfortable lifestyle, when combined with higher-quality, larger and enviably-located properties becoming increasingly available across Malta, is also contributing to a gradual rise in rental prices to reflect demand. At present, the average rental price for a comfortable two-bedroom apartment in a popular central area is €800 to €900 per month.

Locals vs Foreigners

Historically, Malta’s local population has tended more towards purchasing property rather than renting it, but this trend is now shown to be changing. As newlyweds today begin their property search for their first family home, for example, often their preferred property may be out of their financial reach in the short term, and so they will opt to rent in the interim.

However, while the number of locals deciding to begin a property tenancy is rising, they are still far outnumbered by the number of renting foreign nationals, who account for around 90 per cent of the local rental property market.

New Rental Reforms

A White Paper regulating Malta’s residential rental market was published in late 2018, titled ‘Renting as a Housing Alternative’. Outlining recommendations regarding everything related to renting a residential property – from notice agreements and the registration of documents to rent increases and more efficient communications – the White Paper offers increased security and confidence to both landlord and tenant.

Speak to a member of the RE/MAX Lettings team today about Malta’s growing rental market, and the wide range of rental properties currently available.