Same as many Maltese yesterday, we at home were stuck to television expecting Minister of Finance to give a budget speech…
Times are difficult, World has just gone out of lockdowns and the global COVID crisis and started breathing a bit of fresh FREE air, tourism started picking up slowly, global trade started picking up too… and in the dawn of the world waking to some nicer day, there was another crisis waiting… war in Ukraine.
No need to mention the rise in all prices and insecure future this war still holds upon us.
What could we expect from the government in such times? Not much.
And then it started… besides social benefits which in difficult times people were hoping for, there came out some other very good measures
Firstly, Government will extend all existing property schemes that were already showing good results, such as – tax breaks for buying old properties, and first – and second-time buyer schemes
First time buyers – The duty exemption for first-time home buyers on the first €200,000 . The difference from value of €200.001 up duty is 5% First-time buyers will also be eligible for grant of EUR 10.000 payable over 10 years to help them cope up with loan repayments
Second-time buyers – People who sell their first residential property to buy another residential property are currently eligible to a refund of duty of up to €3000 (or €5,000 in the case of persons with special needs).
More info: https://cfr.gov.mt/en/inlandrevenue/legal-technical/Documents/Guidelines%20STB.pdf
Equity Sharing scheme – people over 30 years of age may apply for scheme where Housing Authority takes up to a maximum of 50% of the property value, capped on EUR 200.000 and will be paying it up together with buyer. 10% deposit should be paid by buyer. After 20 years buyer will be obliged to buy Housing Authority’s share at a price that Housing authority paid.
Scheme for 10% deposit – where Housing Authority assists buyers in solving one of burning issues when purchasing property – Deposit. Government is through this scheme lending the money to buyers as interest free loan for 10% deposit and helping them overcome this big obstacle in acquiring a new home. It is capped at a property purchase value of EUR 225.000
Home Assist scheme – to help low-income persons and couples to secure bank loans. A grant of up to €167 / month is given to finance part of the repayment of a loan to people with low income.
More info : https://housingauthority.gov.mt/services/affordable-housing/
New Hope guarantee – where Housing Authority will offer an alternative to a life insurance policy for all those who couldn’t get insurance due to medical condition or disability. Price of the property up to EUR 250.000
Tax breaks for buying old properties scheme extended – when buying old property which was uninhabited for over 7 years and purchase price is up to 750.000, no stamp duty or capital gains will be charged. In order to prevent speculation, such properties cannot be subdivided and re-sold but should be used as residence.
All in all, it was a very good budget in a difficult times, helping many buy their home despite different difficulties they might have and bringing positivity in future developments in property market.
Budget document link: https://finance.gov.mt/en/The-Budget/Pages/The-Budget-2023.aspx