Malta’s 2024 Budget Sees First & Second Time Home Buyers Tax Incentives and Benefit Schemes Extended
31st October 2023
With the release of the 2024 budget, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana outlined what the new fiscal year will mean for Malta’s private property market - which recently saw fewer final deeds of sale signed in August and September of 2023 compared to previous years but experienced a promising uptake of more than 5% in the promise of sales signed for the same period.
Fitch Ratings estimates that Malta’s economy will continue to climb, reaching close to the forecasted potential growth of 3.5% in 2024 and 2025, significantly outperforming the rest of the eurozone, which projected a growth of 0.6% and the “A” median of 1.6%. This is supported by the country’s record low unemployment rate of 2.5% as of July 2023 and tourist arrivals exceeding the respective pre-pandemic levels, among other things.
Back in 2020, on the back of the Covid 19 Pandemic, The Maltese Government announced a number of tax relief measures pertaining to the property market in Malta, which, despite the global turmoil at the time, had remained relatively stable.
These incentives saw the reduction of stamp duty for first- and second-time buyers, a complete tax exemption on qualifying properties, and a reduction of transfer tax on the sale of affordable rental properties. Later, these measures were extended by another nine months and again in 2022, along with the introduction of cash grants to first-time buyers and VAT refunds for those performing restorations on qualifying properties.
The result was a surge in property sales, making Malta’s private property market a sound and stable investment for local and foreign buyers. The 2024 budget will see most of these incentives extended or adjusted.
The Stamp Duty Reduction Scheme for first-time and second-time buyers purchasing property in Malta - which saw a reduced tax rate from 8% to 5% and a slashed stamp duty rate from 5% to 1.5% on the first €200,000 of a property’s value will remain in effect. First-time buyers purchasing UCA property in Gozo will see their cash grant of €30,000 increase to €40,000. However, the tax incentive put in place for property purchases in Gozo has been removed – a move that will effectively see the stamp duty rise back up to 5%.
The first-time buyers scheme, where €10,000 is granted to successful applicants after acquiring their property over a 10-year period, has been extended with the government allocating a further €2.2m to the scheme.
Tax benefits and VAT refund measures pertaining to vacant and UCA properties have also been extended. These measures maintain the existing exemptions, where properties built over 20 years ago and vacant for seven years are not subject to property tax and capital gains tax on the first €750,000 of property transactions.
Furthermore, the measures for VAT refunds on renovations and restorations have also been extended. Property owners can receive a refund of up to €54,000 on the first €300,000 spent. Notably, these measures have been adjusted to ensure that couples and single individuals receive an equal refund.
Lastly, the social housing benefits are set to increase, with the single-person allowance rising to €4,200 from €3,600. Similarly, families with one child will also see their housing allowance increase by €600, going from €4,800 to €5,400, whilst families with at least two children will see their allowances increase from €5,000 to €6,000.
Find out how you can benefiting from these budget measures and get in touch with Malta Sotheby’s International Realty on +356 2010 8077/8070, view our website on www.maltasothebysrealty.com or visit our offices located on the Portomaso Marina and the Tigne Point Pjazza and start your property journey.
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