It is important to know the population behaviour for more than one reason. Firstly, it is interesting to compare Maltese behaviour to that of other European countries which is outlined in Malta vs Europe page. Essentially, one can compare different society’s and make qualified assumptions as to tradition and different cultures. To delve even further into this one may also compare their country to that of another in the recent study carried out by RE/MAX Europe. Secondly, one can further know where they personally stand in today’s market and compare their behaviour to that of the average Maltese. This section also provides for professionals for they may use this research as a benchmark for understanding the customer behaviour in their daily role as an architect, developer, construction worker, turnkey contractor and real estate agent.
No of People in Household
The Islands of Malta currently host a population of 417,432 people (NSO, Census of Population & Housing 2011). Though Malta remains the smallest country in the European Union context, it is nonetheless ranked first among all EU Member States in terms of population density, with an average 1,325 persons per square kilometre, compared with the EU average of 117 persons per square kilometre.
In most cases (29.8%), up to 3 people live in the household, while 27.2% stated that up to 4 persons live in their household, and an additional 26% said that two persons reside in the house.
No of House Moves
On average a person moves house up to ‘1.4’ times in their life (this excludes people who moved out of their parents’ house, for instance to get married or simply to move out). Up to 67% of the sampled population have never moved house, whilst 25% have moved house once, and up to 9% moved house twice or more often.
On average, the 1st move generally takes place after approximately 13 years. Likewise the second move also takes place after 13 years, while in the case of the 3rd and 4th move these take place on average every 7 and 9 years respectively. It is also evident that as years go by and Maltese millennials are sent off to college/university, the amount of years will see a reductions. where as the average number of times moved will also be reduced.
Most Important Factors when buying a Home
The most important factors when buying a house were the ability to park within a close proximity of their residence (72%), the presence of a balcony / terrace registering a mean score of 4.25 (56%) whereas having your own garden (38%) and being close to their work place were the least important factors (29%).
Parking problems and the need for more parking spaces will continue to be a problem within the community. It stands to reason that Malta has limited space to build major car parks like those found in other European countries. This affects the property price of a home and when purchasing a property it is recommended to purchase a garage or ensure your neighbourhood does not suffer as many built up and popular areas do. One may also note that parking in the proximity of the residence came second in the European study, also confirming that this is a standard request from practically anyone that buys a home.
Percentage of Income spent on Housing (Including loans and Bills)
The overall average spend on housing in Malta amounts to 26% of the total household income. The majority of households (74.6%) tend to spend anywhere between 1% to 30% of the total household income on housing. This interesting factor when comparing to European averages provides for some debate as to whether the Maltese population have a much lower cost of living when it comes to housing. This is presented in the Malta vs Europe page.
Searching for a home
Behavioural Process for Property Purchase
31.2% of the targeted population will turn to Newspapers when they decide to start a property search – making it the most popular resource overall. The real estate agents’ websites on the internet are the second most popular place to turn to, with up to 28.2% stating so, while 27% would resort directly to calling a real estate agency.
Nevertheless, younger buyers (25 to 34 years), are more likely to resort to the real estate agents’ websites first – with 46.6% within this bracket stating so. Likewise, this is also the case among 35 to 44 year old buyers, with 36.7% stating so. As age increase beyond this bracket however, newspapers become a more popular means to resort to.
It is apparent that the Maltese population is coming of age when compared to Europe. The popularity of traditional printed media material is diminishing whereas online media is becoming a very strong place to advertise your property. Relationships and referrals will continue to be a mainstay because “word of mouth” from happy customers is proven to stand the test of time in all real estate markets.
Most important Factors considered before Searching
We also asked the respondents what information would the respondents look out for before that were to take a look at a property. It transpired that the prices was the most significant factor (68%), whereas location came second with 56.2%, type of property property came third with 27.8% whereas Layout of property and size of bedrooms were fourth and fifth with 24.8% and 13% saying so respectively. It is important to also note that 7% considered Energy efficiency was also very important.
Most important Aspects whilst looking at Property
Our respondents were asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 5, which aspects of a property were most important when searching for a home. Brightness of property came out the highest with a mean score of 4.75, which was followed by general condition of the place (4.68) and the surroundings/location at a mean score of 4.64. Parking also came into the equation where it registered a high score of 4.64. The least important aspect was the bathrooms which registered a mean score of 3.79.
Challenges when looking for a property
Our respondents were asked about the kind of challenges that they faced which they encountered when searching for a property. 34.7% said that they did not encounter any challenges, whereas 27.3% commented that they looked at properties that were too expensive and 18% said that it was hard to find a suitable property that covered all their requirements.