Drop in Malta Property Prices slows down

Malta Property prices continued to fall in December although the drop was much less pronounced than in the previous months, indicating that the negative trend may have bottomed out, according to the Central Bank.

The bank’s index of advertised residential Malta property prices was down by 1.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 as against the 2.5 per cent decline registered in the previous quarter.   The index published in the bank’s first quarterly review for the year, which covers economic data for end 2009, also shows that average Malta property prices for the whole year were five per cent lower, reflecting the sharp contraction seen in the first half of the year when recessionary pressures dragged down the Malta property market.The relatively modest fall in the index towards the end of 2009 suggests that the negative trend in prices appears to have bottomed out and that the Malta property market may be stabilising,” the bank said.  According to the index, the drop in the supply of new properties may also be slowing down.While in the last three months the number of properties advertised for sale in the bank’s sample dropped by 7.9 per cent on a year earlier, new properties coming on the market in the previous three months had declined by a significant 24.1 per cent. The number of building permits issued by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority was also down, by 3.7 per cent, in December when compared to the previous year, which is in stark contrast to the data for the previous quarter when issued permits dropped by 38.9 per cent. Apartments registered a drop in price of 0.5 per cent while the asking price for maisonettes shed 3.3 per cent.  The growth in prices of terraced houses eased to 0.9 per cent and dwellings categorised as “others” bucked the trend and rose slightly to 5.5 per cent.

Published in the Times of Malta 11.06.2010

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