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Why IS there so many places to rent in Malta

Genuine question, I'm intrigued.

Here in London, I could put my place up for rent NOW, and within a day, I could have the rent for a year and I'd pretty much guarantee someone offering me to buy it outright from me, cash.  The market here is CRAZY.  And, it's understandable.

I've spent the best part of 2 hours tonight, looking at various letting agencies and I'm amazed just how many places are available to rent all over the island.

I've seen loads of posts offering advice about coming to Malta, paying for 2 week in a hotel with an almost guarantee of finding a long-term let within that time.  At first I thought "Narrrr, you guys are way too optimistic", but I'm starting to believe you more and more.

So WHY is there so many properties to let?  Do all the Maltese live/work elsewhere?  Is the island full of expats?

I'm not talking about a lot of small little places that need a lot of work, I'm finding dozens upon dozens of REALLY nice looking places, sea views, lovely kitchens, big bright rooms, all available.

As mentioned on here many times before you will find that most of the properties are not available.
We have lived in our rented property for over two years and it is still advertised.

Hi there,

First - don't be fooled by the letting agencies' websites - almost NONE of the advertised places (for rent) are actually available; the place we rented (from February onwards) was still advertised in April... So you could say the websites are not updated (or also, the agencies like to use the nice-looking apartments as bait).
The apartments advertised on the various facebook groups or on maltapark are more likely to be actually available, but we've been told by others and experienced first hand that the renting market in Malta is a very fast moving market.

When are you coming over? This does have a huge impact on prices and availability, because in summer many landlords will try to rent out their places as holiday accommodation (and who can blame them, if they can get a month's rent in just a week...)

Notwithstanding the above, there are lots of places available for rent, one reason being that there was a building boom (if I remember correctkly, that set in after Malta had joined the EU), and so there is more supply than demand... In addition, particularly in the north (Xemxia, St Paul's Bay in general, Mellieha) many Maltese and foreigners bought holiday flats which they now don't use (or can't afford to use) any more, so they're trying to sell or rent out. When we were looking at flats in that area in February, we were shown a holiday flat owned by Bulgarians who don't come to Malta any more, and we ended up renting the former holiday flat of our Maltese landlords. Oh yes, and many Maltese simply own more than one flat (as far as I remember, I saw on a TV show that it used to be easy for Maltese to buy a second flat, while it was not so easy for foreigners).

As for your question of whether the island is full of expats: In some areas (like Xemxia, St. Paul's Bay, and of course Sliema, etc.) I'd say, YES. In other areas (Attard, Naxxar, Mosta), not so much...

Bernie

Hi Bernie,

Thanks for your detailed reply, apologies for delay.

We're looking at coming over in November this year.  Part of me (the British in me I guess) is wanting plan this to the letter, however the more I read, the more I think I'm gonna have to bite the bullet, come back over again (and I'm NOT complaining at that), and look for a place while I'm there rather than trying to organise a place here in London.

I think we've settled on Bugibba, so will be concentrating efforts on there.

I did see what looked to be a VERY reputable company (I won't mention names) who have totally ignored my requests for advice, so will be looking at agents mentioned in this thread.

I've set aside a monthly budget of €650 which I think should be more than enough for a 2 bedroom place in Bugibba, during winter (if you think I'm wrong, do please let me know).

But thanks for explaining the building boom, really does put things into perspective a little bit more.

There are A LOT of empty apartments in Malta. Two weeks should be plenty to find a nice place in November.

€650 is a good budget for Bugibba.

the real estate market here is quite strange :/ .
as I have heard and read from various sources there should be about 60k-80k dwellings not used. Lots of them are in quite desolate condition, not for rent, but on the other side there are also a lot of new apartments for sale or rent. And it seems almost every day someone starts construction of a new apartment block.

Also I have heard and read reasons why the real estate situation here is like it is - some reasons sound reasonable, others sound like the absence of common sense - which does not mean it cannot be true  :D 

It also seems to me, that every 3rd person I meet in Malta is working in real estate ... most of them part time or "on demand" ;) Since most of them are paid on commission only and work from their "home office", it's not a problem for agencies to have hundreds of freelancers working for them ... more or less ...

On one hand only I can count the good agents I met here, and I do net even need all fingers. All of them have learnt this business and been doing this job since years.
Not one of the tons of "career changers" I could recommend, but it seems they are the majority.

However, finding a accommodation from abroad is almost impossible, unless you have very huge resources  :cool:

Best advice: Come here, check in at a hotel for 2-3 weeks and start looking for the right location and accommodation.

matm911 :

Also I have heard and read reasons why the real estate situation here is like it is - some reasons sound reasonable, others sound like the absence of common sense - which does not mean it cannot be true  :D

This! So much this! :)

I'm noticing a lot of new, luxury properties sitting empty for months now. Asking prices might be a bit too high? I know that there was a huge surge in prices over the last 2 years or so. Things might be calming down a bit now.

Gozo hasn't changed at all though. Love it. :)

With the introduction of the new Building Standard (mandatory for new constructions) and classification/certification of new and existing buildings it is expected that the value of dwellings with low construction standards and unflattering layout will decrease within the next years ... let's see.
IMHO the sales prices are way too high compared to rent costs, e.g. for the same total amount they are asking in case of buying (inflation and rise in prices not considered  ;) ) I can rent my current flat or garage for the next 30 or 40 years ... and then it's in quite desolate condition anyway.

matm911 :

IMHO the sales prices are way too high compared to rent costs, e.g. for the same total amount they are asking in case of buying (inflation and rise in prices not considered  ;) ) I can rent my current flat or garage for the next 30 or 40 years ... and then it's in quite desolate condition anyway.

Really? Unless I misunderstood your post, but I find rental prices extremely high lately and it makes much more sense to buy the place & pay bank loan instead of renting (that is if one intends to stay here of course).

Tinna9 :

Really? Unless I misunderstood your post, but I find rental prices extremely high lately and it makes much more sense to buy the place & pay bank loan instead of renting (that is if one intends to stay here of course).

I don not know how long I will stay in Malta, at the moment I think it will not be for a very long time or even forever, so a purchase will make no sense at all.

However, I pay 300 Euro rent every month for a spacious 2 bedroom apartment and half roof in a quiet area close to the sea. For buying a similar fully finished apartment in this area they ask for at least 120k and more ... and with the current rent a purchase of my 4-car garage will pay back even in about 60 years only.

OK, I know this calculation is economically not correct since in 20 years the rent will be 2 times higher than now (on the other hand you also have to invest in your own property) ... but I do not know if I'll still be here then ... physically and spiritually  :)

Tinna9 :

Really? Unless I misunderstood your post, but I find rental prices extremely high lately and it makes much more sense to buy the place & pay bank loan instead of renting (that is if one intends to stay here of course).

Where? Give some examples. From what I've seen it rarely makes sense to buy even in the most upscale areas of Malta. Rental prices at 1000/month and asking prices starting from 350k+ - no thank you.

matm911 :

However, I pay 300 Euro rent every month for a spacious 2 bedroom apartment and half roof in a quiet area close to the sea. For buying a similar fully finished apartment in this area they ask for at least 120k and more

For that to be a decent buy the asking price would have to be somewhere around 60-70k tops. At 300/month rent 120k asking price is nuts.

mantasmo :

For that to be a decent buy the asking price would have to be somewhere around 60-70k tops. At 300/month rent 120k asking price is nuts.

60.000 they already ask for a 4-car garage   :lol:  and 80-90k you have to pay for this typical 4m wide holiday-tunnels with windows only front and back  :(

matm911 :
mantasmo :

For that to be a decent buy the asking price would have to be somewhere around 60-70k tops. At 300/month rent 120k asking price is nuts.

60.000 they already ask for a 4-car garage   :lol:  and 80-90k you have to pay for this typical 4m wide holiday-tunnels with windows only front and back  :(

Yep... I believe that there are a few select areas in Malta where price/rent ratios make sense. But those are few and faaar between lol.

Overall it makes sense to rent. In Malta. Buy somewhere else if you want to invest.

Sent you a message

mantasmo :

Where? Give some examples. From what I've seen it rarely makes sense to buy even in the most upscale areas of Malta. Rental prices at 1000/month and asking prices starting from 350k+ - no thank you.

I am not referring to Sliema or St Julians area and I wasn't talking about rental investment property, I was talking about a property to live in for someone who intends to stay on the Island. Talking from experience as this is what we did. We chose Bahar Ic Caghaq after renting there for some time before deciding.
To each his own :)

To buy.... i think you need to be more than 100% sure and confident that what you buy is absolutely where you want to live, and that the surroundings and services available suit you - things change rapidly.... people change. Are there church bells,  dogs, lots of renters round you or are they all buyers is the area prone to flooding.  You also have to be sure that your purchase is safeguarded by way of pukka trusted architects who will do 100% thorough searches and that the property is electrically and structurally sound with a current valid EPC  (Energy Performance Certificate)  required by law since 2009. If buyng off plan or new build be sure to know the difference between finished and complete and be sure you know 100% what is and isnt included in the price.. good luck

Renting goes against the grain for us - but the flexibility it affords makes perfect sense at our time of life  (f58 & m59) - as it ensures we can move when we want to  - especially when things change. Malta is a small island that doesnt always suit.

But whatever avenue you take take great care, check and double check then check it again..... good luck

Oh BTW Bugibba / St Pauls was where we started too but we soon realised it wasnt the right place for us.... and left for another village within 6months and stayed in the other place for 6 mostly  enjoyable years....before leaving the island for good.

Hi - I am not so sure if all are available.  Letting agencies will leave a flat that is rented out on the site and when you ask for that particular flat they will let you know that this is not available.  So do not be sure that all for rent.  Regarding to find a place one will find one within a week - one that he really likes if one has a good budget.  Overpriced flats will not rent out easily but they will eventually.

BTW this is an old thread

usually theyre not available at all  but it fills their windows and web sites

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