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Factsheet for measure MT-2020-24/1173 Updated – measures in Malta

Measures to support the construction and property industries

Miżuri li jappoġġjaw l-industriji tal-kostruzzjoni u tal-proprjetà

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 08 June 2020 – 30 June 2023
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 September 2020 (updated 19 June 2023)

Background information

COVID-19 had a negative financial impact on several sectors in Malta. Through a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed upon and announced by the government on 24 March 2020. This package offered wage subsidies for sectors that were worst affected. During a 'mini budget' presentation on the 8 June 2020, government announced another package of measures. These measures aimed to support the property market and the construction industry.

Content of measure

In order to stimulate the property market, the government introduced the following measures:

  • Reduction of stamp duty: The stamp duty rate on property purchases of less than €400,000 was reduced from 5% to 1.5% on contracts to be signed between 9 June and 31 March of next year.
  • Reduction in sales tax: Tax for those selling property under development and tax on those contracts made after 1 June up to 31 March 31 2021 will be reduced from 8% to 5%.
  • First time buyers scheme: Those who bought property before the scheme was introduced in 2013 will now be eligible for the scheme. The scheme allows buyers purchasing their first property to be exempt from paying stamp duty on the first €175,000 of the property’s price.
  • Home Deposit Scheme: A government loan covering the 10% deposit (or up to €17,500) payable upon signing a promise-of-sale agreement is being offered to help people purchase a new home. This measure is limited to the first 300 applicants and is means tested depending on martial status, income and capital assets.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

09 September 2022

The measure whereby reduced tax and stamp duty on the first €400,000 of a property's value was once again extended until June 2023.

21 March 2022

The Minister for Finance, Clyde Caruana, announced that the scheme had been extended by three months, until the end of September 2022, by when the final deed of the property transfer would have to be completed.

16 June 2021

In view of its impact, the reduction in stamp duty measure was again extend whereby the scheme remained open to individuals who formed a 'convenium' (promise of sale) by December of 2021, and subsequently signed a final contract of sale by June 2022.

15 October 2020

In mid-October 2020 it was announced that the 'First time buyers scheme' value of property exempt from paying stamp duty is to be extended from €175,000 to €200,000.

Use of measure

The Malta Developers Association (MDA) announced that June, July and August 2020 were record months for property sales since 2017. They stated that 4,088 promise of sale agreements were registered with a value of €860 million.

Citing the impact of these measures, the head of the MDA stated in June 2021 that the collective value of promises of sale had risen by €1.4 billion over the past twelve months. This was seen as beneficial to the country as the construction sector employed over 40,000 people.

NSO statistics revealed that during 2021, the government spent €138 million on COVID-19 real estate assistance programs.

The Minister of Finance announced in March 2022 that by the end of 2021 8,615 promise of sale agreements had been registered in terms of this scheme.

In September 2022, it was announced that more than 88,000 people benefited from the reductions in tax and stamp duty, saving €288 million. The measure was extended until the end of June 2023. The government stated that an additional 5,600 promises-of-sale are expected to benefit from this extension.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Sector specific set of companies
Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Employers' organisations
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


Through a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed on 24 March 2020. This was the third and most significant package of measures announced by the government. Following this agreement, social partners remained in direct contact with the government highlighting their proposals of what they felt was still necessary to save the Maltese economy and jobs. In the case of measures for the construction and property market, this involvement was often through proposals submitted by the Malta Developer's Association (MDA).

In view of this, on the 8 June 2020 the government announced a 'mini budget' to help the Maltese economy to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the fourth package of measures announced by the government. With the exception of the government loan for first time buyers, the current measures formed part of this package. The loan was announced prior to COVID-19 (Budget October 2019) and was implemented in June 2020.

Views and reactions

The Malta Developer's Association (MDA) stated that it was pleased that its suggestions had been taken up by government. It highlighted in July and August 2020 that following these measures, the property market prospered thanks to the government measures.

Newspaper interviews however indicated that estate agent business owners felt that the first time buyer's measure should be raised to €200,000 to reflect the cost of property.

While announcing the extension of the measure whereby a reduction in stamp duty on property is to remain in force, the MDA and Government stated that the two entities were in regular contact and the extension was the result of such consultation.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      F - Construction F41 Construction of buildings
      F42 Civil engineering
      F43 Specialised construction activities
      L - Real Estate Activities L68 Real estate activities

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Measures to support the construction and property industries, measure MT-2020-24/1173 (measures in Malta), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.