Posts By: Luke Scicluna

RE/MAX & Friends Supports Pink October

RE/MAX & Friends Foundation, the charitable organisation recently founded by RE/MAX Malta, the real estate company, is supporting “Pink October”.an endeavor in aid of breast cancer awareness throughout the month of October.

As part of its corporate social responsibility programme, the company launched the foundation this July in the presence of Her Excellency, The President of Malta, Mrs. Marie-Louise Preca and were officially presented with the certification at the end of September 2014. The RE/MAX & Friends foundation was founded to raise funds to assist individuals and foundations that are battling against chronic diseases.

This is the first official supporting role as a charitable organization and it is very close to the founding members hearts.  Kevin Buttigieg, a member of the board of the foundation said, “Pink October is in line with our foundation’s objectives to give back to the community part of our profits.

RE/MAX & Friends Foundation is presently funded solely through real estate transactions, whereby from each sale or rental of a property, the RE/MAX office that made the transaction donates a percentage towards the charity.   Pink October is the start of something according to RE/MAX may raise in access of €70, 000 in its first year in operation.

Speaking about RE/MAX and Friends, foundation board member Michael Bonello said, “We are very please with the results so far however we plan on coordinating events and other fundraising activities in the future.”

First-Time Buyers Trends In Malta

With first-time buyers taking up a good solid chunk of the real-estate market, and with the year 2014 coming to an end, estate agents take stock of how sales in this segment have fared and why. Fact is that all first-time buyers have enjoyed making property purchases all through the year, thanks to the November 2013 budget proposal which was further extended into 2015 as announced during the recent November 2014 budget. This proposal has seen would-be property owners enjoying an exemption from duty payments on the first  Euros 150,000 spent on the purchase of a first property.  This tangibly translates in a saving of some Euro 5250 for each buyer, whether the buyer is a Maltese national, a foreigner  or a non-resident. RE/MAX estate agent Patrick Spiteri  of Re-max South  confirms, “Whether single or whether as a  couple,  first-time buyers are usually hampered by a number of punishing elements mainly their limited budgets.

A typical first-time buyer is usually young, and even if in a professional status, he/she finds limited funds with which to start off  property shopping. However, this tax concession has helped a lot of people to invest in their first property with further ease. The extra saving is used to fund furnishings or to purchase a garage or perhaps invest in a slightly larger property.  First-time buyers normally seek two-bedroom apartments with properties in the south generally starting in the region of  Euro 100,000 – Euro 110,000 ,  going slightly higher in central and northern Malta at Euro 130,000 – Euro 150,000.

These price brackets are determined by location, finish of property, number of bedrooms, whether the property is furnished or not…. ” Mr Spiteri explains that young and inexperienced property buyers often come up with very strange requests, expecting  to purchase something which is very attractive, but not realising that they are going completely out of budget. “At RE/MAX Malta we help our clients contact banks and other professionals such as notaries or lawyers so that they start their experience in the world of property search on the right foot and well-informed with full awareness of their monetary limitations. We are very aware of property laws, which I for one have learned over my seven years of experience with RE/MAX. Yes indeed, some do strike lucky landing exceptional price reductions on properties which are being sold by owners who need to cash in quickly or want to get sell a property fast. But striking lucky does not happen often.”

From a totally different part of Malta, Dirk Debono an estate agent based at RE/MAX in St Julian’s,  says, “It is very fortunate that the tax concession on stamp duty has been extended since we have experienced a huge boom in first-time property sales this past year. First-time property buyers are not just single people or new couples, but sometimes we get clients who seek to purchase a property as a rental investment, especially since rentals are very strong at the moment. We have a lot of people who come to Malta to purchase property, especially people who work in i-gaming, or people who come from the Middle East. ”

Mr Debono points out that some unexpected locations are becoming increasingly in demand as rental investments, such as the location of Gzira since it is close proximity to the University of Malta and to the Sliema/St Julian’s area. “People who intend to purchase a first property as an investment are careful to purchase where there is high renting potential. Obviously, a three-bedroom  apartment in Mosta  or Naxxar may be bigger in size but not necessarily enjoy renting potential as would property in key locations such as Msida, Floriana, Valletta or Sliema.”

 

Article by: Marika Azzopardi

Marika Azzopardi is a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.

RE/MAX Opens Office In Portomaso Marina

RE/MAX Malta has expand its operations with the opening of new office at the Portomaso Marina.  The office aims to cater for the needs of the strong high-end client base as well as those customers located in the central areas of Malta.  The office will form part of RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists, which is located in Tigne Point.

RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists, Tigne Point were recognised last year as the runner up in total volume sales and the winner in property sales per capita within the RE/MAX Malta group.  The franchise owners are made up of Mauro Sammut, Philip Incorvaja, Darren Frendo and Kevin, Jeffrey and Joe Buttigieg. 

Speaking about the new franchise, Kevin Buttigieg, CEO of RE/MAX Malta said “At Portomaso we will be in a position to offer a holistic real estate service to a vast selection of clientele including those interested in high-end property investments such as Portomaso. “ Mr Buttigieg added that, “It is a great achievement for RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists to be opening their second office and we are positive that it will be a great success.”

The company is already operating with seven associates under the guidance of co-franchise owner Mauro Sammut, the office manager.  Mr Sammut said, “We have recruited a mixture of seasoned agents as well as promising associates that have a future ahead of them. In the near future we plan to recruit more associates to our team.”

This year RE/MAX Malta has opened RE/MAX Bay Street, RE/MAX Executives in Ta L-Ibragg, an office in St. Paul’s Bay and now RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Portomaso.  The RE/MAX Malta network today consists of seventeen offices and over two hundred and twenty sales and letting associates.

For information about properties in Portomaso go to RE.MAX Malta Website page: http://www.remax-malta.com/portomaso-malta-search.aspx