The northern harbour area is the most expensive area to rent a two-bedroom dwelling, while localities in the south east of Malta and Gozo are the cheapest, a study by the housing authority has found.
According to the study, the 10 most expensive localities on average to rent out a two-bedroom apartment are: Ta’ Xbiex (€1,050), Valletta (€1,050), Kalkara (€1,050), St Julian’s (€1,000), Sliema (€1,000), Vittoriosa (€950), Pembroke (€950), Swieqi (€900), Gżira (€800) and Balzan (€775).
Sliema and Vittoriosa are the most expensive on average for a three-bedroomed dwelling.
The 10 cheapest localities in Malta comparing the average monthly price of a two-bedroom dwelling are Rabat (€500), Mqabba (€525), Marsa (€550), Cospicua (€550), Birżebbuġa (€550), St Paul’s Bay (€600), Żurrieq (€600), Siġġiewi (€600), Safi (€600) and Paola (€600).
In Gozo, the median price per month for a two-bedroom rental was the highest in Għasri (€650), Għarb (€550) and Nadur (€500) and the lowest in Munxar (€400), Xagħra (€425) and Fontana (€425).
In the first report of its kind, the Annual Malta Residential Rental Study looked at data collected since the new rental laws were passed last year, to give a comprehensive picture of the rental market for the first time.
The Private Residential Leases Act which came into force in January 2020 introduced a number of measures to oversee rental contracts, in an effort to manage an unregulated sector.
The Northern Harbour Area, emerged as the most costly and popular zone, where out of the 12,437 short-term and long-term contracts registered, the average rental price for a two-bedroom apartment was €800, and a one bedroom around €630.
Rents were 20-28% higher in this area than the rest of the island, and 44% higher than Gozo.
Turning to popularity by locality, St Paul’s Bay was the most sought out area for rentals by far, with 16% of all registered rentals (4,959) situated in the seaside town, followed by Sliema (9%), Msida (8%), St Julian's (5%) and Gżira (5%).
The least popular locality for rentals was the Western part of Malta with 1,334 lease contracts recorded.
A total of 30,483 residential rental contracts were registered with the authority since the Private Residential Leases Act was passed, according to the study.
Significantly, out of the 30,483 residential rental contracts registered throughout both islands, 14% (4,138) were terminated prematurely.
A total of 92% of the total number of recorded rentals were long leases, with the most common duration of the lease (79%) being one year, and the most common type of accommodation being an apartment.
Looking at 2021, 96% of the previous year’s leases were renewed while 87% of the renewed contracts had unchanged rents.
A whopping 83% of the tenants in these leases were foreign, 14% were Maltese, while 3% of leases were taken up by a mixture of Maltese and foreign tenants.
Impact of pandemic on rentals
The period during which Malta entered partial lockdown saw a dip in the number of registered rentals.
From 2,583 registered leases in February and 2,326 registered leases in March, during April new leases dropped to 1,535.
May and June saw a recovery, with the number of rentals climbing to 2,126 and 2,942 respectively, and reaching a peak in October at 3,203.
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