With pleasant weather year-round, a thriving nightlife, beautiful beaches and 7,000 years of intriguing history, coupled with significant investment in tourism by the local authority, Malta has seen a considerable boost in the number of travellers over the past few years. The island has also become an increasingly popular destination with buyers of second homes, as it is easily accessible from all major cities in Europe, has a relatively low cost of living and has English as an official language.
Strong demand from travellers
New flight routes and ramped up advertising by the local tourist authority have ensured an increase in tourist arrivals to the island over the past few years. In the peak of summer 2010, Malta was linked to 76 airports, which made the island more accessible than ever before. What’s more, had it not been for the disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud, the island would have already equalled or surpassed tourism arrival figures for 2008, which was a record year for tourism in Malta.
The island also shone out as a rising star during the second quarter of 2010 on HomeAway.co.uk. With a huge 108% increase in booking enquiries compared to the same period in 2009, the island featured among the top 10 destinations enquired about on www.HomeAway.co.uk
for holidays in June, July, August and October. Property owners advertising on the site also reported high occupancy, despite the recession.
Christiane Morris, owner of a three-bedroom apartment (Property 439983
) commented: “We’ve been booked virtually all summer and currently have three enquiries in the pipeline for later this month, early November and a three month long let later in the year”. Rita Bourne, owner of a one-bedroom apartment (Property 91540
), also reported continued strong performance. She said, “For the past two years I’ve had 95% occupancy, which is extremely surprising since it coincided with the downturn of the economy.”
An opportunity for investors
Malta experienced a boom in overseas property investment when it joined the EU in 2004; however as prices grew very rapidly, Malta quickly lost the ability to compete with the new EU members. But then the credit crunch caused prices to fall and once again Malta has become competitive. The advent of cheap flight routes also further improved access to the island and made Malta an attractive option for lifestyle buyers and investors.
With an increase of only 20% in new property listings compared to a sharp 108% increase in booking enquiries on www.HomeAway.co.uk
during the second quarter of 2010, demand for holiday rentals in Malta continues to outstrip supply, meaning a great opportunity for existing owners and new investors alike. The continued boom in tourism coupled with reasonable property prices means Malta represents a great option for those buyers looking for a sound return on their investment.
Michael Xuereb, owner of a four-bedroom farmhouse in Gozo (Property 477442
) said his property is usually booked around 25 weeks per year, well above the average 15 weeks achieved by most owners. Polly Rubinstein, who owns a five-bedroom farmhouse in Gozo (Property 83746
) also commented that her property has been booked for 16 to 17 weeks each year for the past few years. So far Polly has had 16 weeks booked for 2010 and five weeks already in the calendar for 2011.
Copyright HomeAway.co.uk, October 2010