News

MDA insists its Budget proposals as agreed before general election

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

The Malta Developers Association presented a substantial document with concrete proposals for Budget 2018, some of which can be implemented immediately.

MDA President Sandro Chetcuti, who headed a delegation of Council members, augured that the Prime Minister and his Government would continue to achieve further progress and success in its endeavours to take the country to the next level. He praised Government’s initiatives that have truly brought the best of times in terms of employment and a booming economy.

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Both PN leadership contenders request meeting with MDA

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

The two Nationalist Party leadership contenders, Dr Adrian Delia and Dr Chris Said, held separate meetings with the Malta Developers Association Council. The meetings, held at the request of the two candidates, turned out to be two long, fruitful discussions.

Both Dr Delia and Dr Said acknowledged the good work of the MDA and its highly valid contribution to the country.

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older news

MDA Press Handout

  During the last few years the Maltese construction industry has been going through increasingly harder times facing falling prices and an undetermined, but definitely large, stock of unsold properties.

MDA believes that if the last four years were unhappy years, the next five years will be even worse due to the current financial international scenario and the certainty that it is impossible for the circumstances that caused the last boom to be repeated.

According to the Central Bank of Malta Annual Report, the share of the gross added value of the GDP of the construction industry has already fallen from 3.4% in 2117 to 3.1% in 2010. The Maltese construction industry therefore is facing a prolonged crisis which can send a ripple effect throughout the Maltese economy, if it is not managed in time and properly.

MDA is not aware of the actual extent of this issue. Nevertheless an indication can be obtained from the number of permits issued for the construction of dwelling units which has fallen dramatically from 11,343 in 2007 to 4,444 in 2010.

Meanwhile exposure of the financial sector to the construction industry has more than doubled in seven years from 2003 to €1524 million in 2010.

It has to be pointed out that in its annual Malta report published last November, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has singled out ‘real estate weakness’ as a major concern for Malta as market weakness ‘could turn out deeper and more protracted than expected as excess supply in segments of the real estate market and some debt overhang need to be worked off”

Recently this warning has been publicly echoed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Malta.

MDA believes that the construction industry has to be managed by Government similarly to the way it manages the tourism sector, the manufacturing sector and the financial sector, i.e. in a professional and decisive manner, so that the right policies are put into action by everybody concerned on a long term basis.

In an effort to obtain such a holistic approach, during a meeting with the Minister of Finance on the 23rd February, the MDA Council had proposed to the Ministry to undertake a professional economic and legal study seeking to estimate the current stock of properties for sale or rent and to classify it realistically according to the market segment that it is being aimed for as well as to identify new markets abroad and strengthen known markets. It also suggested that there is need for an international marketing campaign aimed at foreign clients to be launched jointly by MDA, the Real Estate Federation and MTA that should include retirement tourism as one of its market niches. This study would also scrutinise the Maltese banks’ exposure to the real estate market.

During a meeting with the Prime Minister held on April 29, an MDA delegation reiterated the need of the study suggested to the Minister of Finance and also the need that the industry be recognised as deserving one interlocutor with Government – a Ministry or body that would own the industry, rather than the industry having to discuss its issues with various entities such as the Ministry of Finance, MEPA, MTA, Enemalta and others. Besides recommendations that should lead to the strengthening of the rental market to Maltese citizens and the urgent need to update the legal framework regarding the purchase and renting of property by foreigners, MDA also made a number of short term recommendations to be considered by Government for adoption in its next budget.

MDA is also seriously concerned at the way the implementation of MEPA reform is leading this entity into a cul-de-sac. It is now more than obvious that this reform was tailor-made according to parameters suggested by some environmental NGOs and adopted by people who have had no practical experience in the development sector. The effect of this reform is the addition of time consuming pointless bureaucracy in order to shift the waiting time for a permit to an initial stage when the permit application is technically not yet accepted and registered.

The number of permits approved for processing has dwindled dramatically to about 80 a month and this is also affecting the income of MEPA that according to government guidelines has to rely on income from permit tariffs for all its financial requirements. In spite of the astronomical increases in permit tariffs, every month MEPA is only getting a fraction of its regular expenses – that include salaries – from permit fees and has had to forage elsewhere for money.

MDA therefore publicly asks whether MEPA is utilising monies collected for the Urban Improvement Fund (IUF) or for the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme (CPPS) for its recurrent financial commitments – a situation that is deemed by MDA as being abusive – or if it has resorted to taking bank loans in order to subsist.

Moreover applicants are facing exorbitant increases in the value of Bank Guarantees being demanded by MEPA. Together with the new exaggerated tariffs, this is discouraging developers from applying for permits, when MEPA was supposed to achieve financial independence as a result of the astronomical rise in permit application tariffs. It is obvious that MEPA has painted itself into a corner.

There is confusion within MEPA itself with the Environment Protection Directorate (EPD) often at loggerheads with the Planning Directorate on issues that should have been settled before full building permits are issued. The way MEPA is handling legitimate development applications in ODZ areas is also arbitrary and unreasonable. MEPA has also taken decisions that obviously go against its own policies, thus creating uncertainty on MEPA’s own written parameters for development.

Meanwhile it seems that MEPA is being subjected to undue government influence in particular cases as seems to have happened in the case of a site in Siggiewi  where MEPA preferred material from rock cutting to go to waste rather than the utilisation of the same material for building purposes. MDA does not normally enter into the merits of individual permits except where principles are involved. In this case MDA feels that the recycling of excavated material has been discouraged by MEPA on spurious grounds when in fact it should have encouraged it.

MEPA is looking at all permit applicants as if they were out to commit some transgression and therefore has adopted a negative attitude towards all kind of development applications, even when these are justified and make sense – a situation that cannot go on as at present. People are giving up of the possibility of sensible interchange of ideas with MEPA that has ditched common sense and taken completely absurd notions on board.

Besides government taking the measures suggested to it by MDA, a u-turn in MEPA’s attitude to genuine development applicants is crucial.

The situation is fast deteriorating into one where uncertainty in the property development sector plus lack of investment are leading to development grinding to a halt with the loss of thousands of jobs that depend on this industry. This not only affects the financial viability of the players in the sector but could, in turn, also exacerbate problems in the banking sector emanating from over exposure to real estate.

A concerted serious effort to tackle this problem is long overdue.

————————–

Malta Developers Association       

 

PRESS HANDOUT - 6th June 2011

 

During the last few years the Maltese construction industry has been going through increasingly harder times facing falling prices and an undetermined, but definitely large, stock of unsold properties.

MDA believes that if the last four years were unhappy years, the next five years will be even worse due to the current financial international scenario and the certainty that it is impossible for the circumstances that caused the last boom to be repeated.

According to the Central Bank of Malta Annual Report, the share of the gross added value of the GDP of the construction industry has already fallen from 3.4% in 2117 to 3.1% in 2010. The Maltese construction industry therefore is facing a prolonged crisis which can send a ripple effect throughout the Maltese economy, if it is not managed in time and properly.

MDA is not aware of the actual extent of this issue. Nevertheless an indication can be obtained from the number of permits issued for the construction of dwelling units which has fallen dramatically from 11,343 in 2007 to 4,444 in 2010.

Meanwhile exposure of the financial sector to the construction industry has more than doubled in seven years from 2003 to €1524 million in 2010.

It has to be pointed out that in its annual Malta report published last November, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has singled out ‘real estate weakness’ as a major concern for Malta as market weakness ‘could turn out deeper and more protracted than expected as excess supply in segments of the real estate market and some debt overhang need to be worked off”

Recently this warning has been publicly echoed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Malta.

MDA believes that the construction industry has to be managed by Government similarly to the way it manages the tourism sector, the manufacturing sector and the financial sector, i.e. in a professional and decisive manner, so that the right policies are put into action by everybody concerned on a long term basis.

In an effort to obtain such a holistic approach, during a meeting with the Minister of Finance on the 23rd February, the MDA Council had proposed to the Ministry to undertake a professional economic and legal study seeking to estimate the current stock of properties for sale or rent and to classify it realistically according to the market segment that it is being aimed for as well as to identify new markets abroad and strengthen known markets. It also suggested that there is need for an international marketing campaign aimed at foreign clients to be launched jointly by MDA, the Real Estate Federation and MTA that should include retirement tourism as one of its market niches. This study would also scrutinise the Maltese banks’ exposure to the real estate market.

During a meeting with the Prime Minister held on April 29, an MDA delegation reiterated the need of the study suggested to the Minister of Finance and also the need that the industry be recognised as deserving one interlocutor with Government – a Ministry or body that would own the industry, rather than the industry having to discuss its issues with various entities such as the Ministry of Finance, MEPA, MTA, Enemalta and others. Besides recommendations that should lead to the strengthening of the rental market to Maltese citizens and the urgent need to update the legal framework regarding the purchase and renting of property by foreigners, MDA also made a number of short term recommendations to be considered by Government for adoption in its next budget.

MDA is also seriously concerned at the way the implementation of MEPA reform is leading this entity into a cul-de-sac. It is now more than obvious that this reform was tailor-made according to parameters suggested by some environmental NGOs and adopted by people who have had no practical experience in the development sector. The effect of this reform is the addition of time consuming pointless bureaucracy in order to shift the waiting time for a permit to an initial stage when the permit application is technically not yet accepted and registered.

The number of permits approved for processing has dwindled dramatically to about 80 a month and this is also affecting the income of MEPA that according to government guidelines has to rely on income from permit tariffs for all its financial requirements. In spite of the astronomical increases in permit tariffs, every month MEPA is only getting a fraction of its regular expenses – that include salaries – from permit fees and has had to forage elsewhere for money.

MDA therefore publicly asks whether MEPA is utilising monies collected for the Urban Improvement Fund (IUF) or for the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme (CPPS) for its recurrent financial commitments – a situation that is deemed by MDA as being abusive – or if it has resorted to taking bank loans in order to subsist.

Moreover applicants are facing exorbitant increases in the value of Bank Guarantees being demanded by MEPA. Together with the new exaggerated tariffs, this is discouraging developers from applying for permits, when MEPA was supposed to achieve financial independence as a result of the astronomical rise in permit application tariffs. It is obvious that MEPA has painted itself into a corner.

There is confusion within MEPA itself with the Environment Protection Directorate (EPD) often at loggerheads with the Planning Directorate on issues that should have been settled before full building permits are issued. The way MEPA is handling legitimate development applications in ODZ areas is also arbitrary and unreasonable. MEPA has also taken decisions that obviously go against its own policies, thus creating uncertainty on MEPA’s own written parameters for development.

Meanwhile it seems that MEPA is being subjected to undue government influence in particular cases as seems to have happened in the case of a site in Siggiewi  where MEPA preferred material from rock cutting to go to waste rather than the utilisation of the same material for building purposes. MDA does not normally enter into the merits of individual permits except where principles are involved. In this case MDA feels that the recycling of excavated material has been discouraged by MEPA on spurious grounds when in fact it should have encouraged it.

MEPA is looking at all permit applicants as if they were out to commit some transgression and therefore has adopted a negative attitude towards all kind of development applications, even when these are justified and make sense – a situation that cannot go on as at present. People are giving up of the possibility of sensible interchange of ideas with MEPA that has ditched common sense and taken completely absurd notions on board.

Besides government taking the measures suggested to it by MDA, a u-turn in MEPA’s attitude to genuine development applicants is crucial.

The situation is fast deteriorating into one where uncertainty in the property development sector plus lack of investment are leading to development grinding to a halt with the loss of thousands of jobs that depend on this industry. This not only affects the financial viability of the players in the sector but could, in turn, also exacerbate problems in the banking sector emanating from over exposure to real estate.

A concerted serious effort to tackle this problem is long overdue.

————————–

Malta Developers Association       

 

PRESS HANDOUT - 6th June 2011

 

During the last few years the Maltese construction industry has been going through increasingly harder times facing falling prices and an undetermined, but definitely large, stock of unsold properties.

MDA believes that if the last four years were unhappy years, the next five years will be even worse due to the current financial international scenario and the certainty that it is impossible for the circumstances that caused the last boom to be repeated.

According to the Central Bank of Malta Annual Report, the share of the gross added value of the GDP of the construction industry has already fallen from 3.4% in 2117 to 3.1% in 2010. The Maltese construction industry therefore is facing a prolonged crisis which can send a ripple effect throughout the Maltese economy, if it is not managed in time and properly.

MDA is not aware of the actual extent of this issue. Nevertheless an indication can be obtained from the number of permits issued for the construction of dwelling units which has fallen dramatically from 11,343 in 2007 to 4,444 in 2010.

Meanwhile exposure of the financial sector to the construction industry has more than doubled in seven years from 2003 to €1524 million in 2010.

It has to be pointed out that in its annual Malta report published last November, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has singled out ‘real estate weakness’ as a major concern for Malta as market weakness ‘could turn out deeper and more protracted than expected as excess supply in segments of the real estate market and some debt overhang need to be worked off”

Recently this warning has been publicly echoed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Malta.

MDA believes that the construction industry has to be managed by Government similarly to the way it manages the tourism sector, the manufacturing sector and the financial sector, i.e. in a professional and decisive manner, so that the right policies are put into action by everybody concerned on a long term basis.

In an effort to obtain such a holistic approach, during a meeting with the Minister of Finance on the 23rd February, the MDA Council had proposed to the Ministry to undertake a professional economic and legal study seeking to estimate the current stock of properties for sale or rent and to classify it realistically according to the market segment that it is being aimed for as well as to identify new markets abroad and strengthen known markets. It also suggested that there is need for an international marketing campaign aimed at foreign clients to be launched jointly by MDA, the Real Estate Federation and MTA that should include retirement tourism as one of its market niches. This study would also scrutinise the Maltese banks’ exposure to the real estate market.

During a meeting with the Prime Minister held on April 29, an MDA delegation reiterated the need of the study suggested to the Minister of Finance and also the need that the industry be recognised as deserving one interlocutor with Government – a Ministry or body that would own the industry, rather than the industry having to discuss its issues with various entities such as the Ministry of Finance, MEPA, MTA, Enemalta and others. Besides recommendations that should lead to the strengthening of the rental market to Maltese citizens and the urgent need to update the legal framework regarding the purchase and renting of property by foreigners, MDA also made a number of short term recommendations to be considered by Government for adoption in its next budget.

MDA is also seriously concerned at the way the implementation of MEPA reform is leading this entity into a cul-de-sac. It is now more than obvious that this reform was tailor-made according to parameters suggested by some environmental NGOs and adopted by people who have had no practical experience in the development sector. The effect of this reform is the addition of time consuming pointless bureaucracy in order to shift the waiting time for a permit to an initial stage when the permit application is technically not yet accepted and registered.

The number of permits approved for processing has dwindled dramatically to about 80 a month and this is also affecting the income of MEPA that according to government guidelines has to rely on income from permit tariffs for all its financial requirements. In spite of the astronomical increases in permit tariffs, every month MEPA is only getting a fraction of its regular expenses – that include salaries – from permit fees and has had to forage elsewhere for money.

MDA therefore publicly asks whether MEPA is utilising monies collected for the Urban Improvement Fund (IUF) or for the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme (CPPS) for its recurrent financial commitments – a situation that is deemed by MDA as being abusive – or if it has resorted to taking bank loans in order to subsist.

Moreover applicants are facing exorbitant increases in the value of Bank Guarantees being demanded by MEPA. Together with the new exaggerated tariffs, this is discouraging developers from applying for permits, when MEPA was supposed to achieve financial independence as a result of the astronomical rise in permit application tariffs. It is obvious that MEPA has painted itself into a corner.

There is confusion within MEPA itself with the Environment Protection Directorate (EPD) often at loggerheads with the Planning Directorate on issues that should have been settled before full building permits are issued. The way MEPA is handling legitimate development applications in ODZ areas is also arbitrary and unreasonable. MEPA has also taken decisions that obviously go against its own policies, thus creating uncertainty on MEPA’s own written parameters for development.

Meanwhile it seems that MEPA is being subjected to undue government influence in particular cases as seems to have happened in the case of a site in Siggiewi  where MEPA preferred material from rock cutting to go to waste rather than the utilisation of the same material for building purposes. MDA does not normally enter into the merits of individual permits except where principles are involved. In this case MDA feels that the recycling of excavated material has been discouraged by MEPA on spurious grounds when in fact it should have encouraged it.

MEPA is looking at all permit applicants as if they were out to commit some transgression and therefore has adopted a negative attitude towards all kind of development applications, even when these are justified and make sense – a situation that cannot go on as at present. People are giving up of the possibility of sensible interchange of ideas with MEPA that has ditched common sense and taken completely absurd notions on board.

Besides government taking the measures suggested to it by MDA, a u-turn in MEPA’s attitude to genuine development applicants is crucial.

The situation is fast deteriorating into one where uncertainty in the property development sector plus lack of investment are leading to development grinding to a halt with the loss of thousands of jobs that depend on this industry. This not only affects the financial viability of the players in the sector but could, in turn, also exacerbate problems in the banking sector emanating from over exposure to real estate.

A concerted serious effort to tackle this problem is long overdue.

————————–

Malta Developers Association       

 

PRESS HANDOUT - 6th June 2011

 

During the last few years the Maltese construction industry has been going through increasingly harder times facing falling prices and an undetermined, but definitely large, stock of unsold properties.

MDA believes that if the last four years were unhappy years, the next five years will be even worse due to the current financial international scenario and the certainty that it is impossible for the circumstances that caused the last boom to be repeated.

According to the Central Bank of Malta Annual Report, the share of the gross added value of the GDP of the construction industry has already fallen from 3.4% in 2117 to 3.1% in 2010. The Maltese construction industry therefore is facing a prolonged crisis which can send a ripple effect throughout the Maltese economy, if it is not managed in time and properly.

MDA is not aware of the actual extent of this issue. Nevertheless an indication can be obtained from the number of permits issued for the construction of dwelling units which has fallen dramatically from 11,343 in 2007 to 4,444 in 2010.

Meanwhile exposure of the financial sector to the construction industry has more than doubled in seven years from 2003 to €1524 million in 2010.

It has to be pointed out that in its annual Malta report published last November, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has singled out ‘real estate weakness’ as a major concern for Malta as market weakness ‘could turn out deeper and more protracted than expected as excess supply in segments of the real estate market and some debt overhang need to be worked off”

Recently this warning has been publicly echoed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Malta.

MDA believes that the construction industry has to be managed by Government similarly to the way it manages the tourism sector, the manufacturing sector and the financial sector, i.e. in a professional and decisive manner, so that the right policies are put into action by everybody concerned on a long term basis.

In an effort to obtain such a holistic approach, during a meeting with the Minister of Finance on the 23rd February, the MDA Council had proposed to the Ministry to undertake a professional economic and legal study seeking to estimate the current stock of properties for sale or rent and to classify it realistically according to the market segment that it is being aimed for as well as to identify new markets abroad and strengthen known markets. It also suggested that there is need for an international marketing campaign aimed at foreign clients to be launched jointly by MDA, the Real Estate Federation and MTA that should include retirement tourism as one of its market niches. This study would also scrutinise the Maltese banks’ exposure to the real estate market.

During a meeting with the Prime Minister held on April 29, an MDA delegation reiterated the need of the study suggested to the Minister of Finance and also the need that the industry be recognised as deserving one interlocutor with Government – a Ministry or body that would own the industry, rather than the industry having to discuss its issues with various entities such as the Ministry of Finance, MEPA, MTA, Enemalta and others. Besides recommendations that should lead to the strengthening of the rental market to Maltese citizens and the urgent need to update the legal framework regarding the purchase and renting of property by foreigners, MDA also made a number of short term recommendations to be considered by Government for adoption in its next budget.

MDA is also seriously concerned at the way the implementation of MEPA reform is leading this entity into a cul-de-sac. It is now more than obvious that this reform was tailor-made according to parameters suggested by some environmental NGOs and adopted by people who have had no practical experience in the development sector. The effect of this reform is the addition of time consuming pointless bureaucracy in order to shift the waiting time for a permit to an initial stage when the permit application is technically not yet accepted and registered.

The number of permits approved for processing has dwindled dramatically to about 80 a month and this is also affecting the income of MEPA that according to government guidelines has to rely on income from permit tariffs for all its financial requirements. In spite of the astronomical increases in permit tariffs, every month MEPA is only getting a fraction of its regular expenses – that include salaries – from permit fees and has had to forage elsewhere for money.

MDA therefore publicly asks whether MEPA is utilising monies collected for the Urban Improvement Fund (IUF) or for the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme (CPPS) for its recurrent financial commitments – a situation that is deemed by MDA as being abusive – or if it has resorted to taking bank loans in order to subsist.

Moreover applicants are facing exorbitant increases in the value of Bank Guarantees being demanded by MEPA. Together with the new exaggerated tariffs, this is discouraging developers from applying for permits, when MEPA was supposed to achieve financial independence as a result of the astronomical rise in permit application tariffs. It is obvious that MEPA has painted itself into a corner.

There is confusion within MEPA itself with the Environment Protection Directorate (EPD) often at loggerheads with the Planning Directorate on issues that should have been settled before full building permits are issued. The way MEPA is handling legitimate development applications in ODZ areas is also arbitrary and unreasonable. MEPA has also taken decisions that obviously go against its own policies, thus creating uncertainty on MEPA’s own written parameters for development.

Meanwhile it seems that MEPA is being subjected to undue government influence in particular cases as seems to have happened in the case of a site in Siggiewi  where MEPA preferred material from rock cutting to go to waste rather than the utilisation of the same material for building purposes. MDA does not normally enter into the merits of individual permits except where principles are involved. In this case MDA feels that the recycling of excavated material has been discouraged by MEPA on spurious grounds when in fact it should have encouraged it.

MEPA is looking at all permit applicants as if they were out to commit some transgression and therefore has adopted a negative attitude towards all kind of development applications, even when these are justified and make sense – a situation that cannot go on as at present. People are giving up of the possibility of sensible interchange of ideas with MEPA that has ditched common sense and taken completely absurd notions on board.

Besides government taking the measures suggested to it by MDA, a u-turn in MEPA’s attitude to genuine development applicants is crucial.

The situation is fast deteriorating into one where uncertainty in the property development sector plus lack of investment are leading to development grinding to a halt with the loss of thousands of jobs that depend on this industry. This not only affects the financial viability of the players in the sector but could, in turn, also exacerbate problems in the banking sector emanating from over exposure to real estate.

A concerted serious effort to tackle this problem is long overdue.

————————–

 The MDA Board has meet twelve times since January 2011.This busy schedule was possible due to the committment of all Board members with the objective to promote the interests of all MDA members.

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