Assistance schemes for persons to become home owners

In the social accommodation sector, the Budget will extend various schemes, including the scheme with which the Government assists persons to become home owners. Currently, this scheme covers persons aged 40 or over.

An increase was also announced in the value and exemption of the stamp duty for those buying the first and second property, while subsidies for private rents will be extended so that more persons are entitled for this assistance on rents.

From tomorrow, the Government will extend from €150,000 to €175,000 the price of properties on which no stamp duty is paid by persons who purchase their first property. With this measure, buyers will save €6,500. A reduced tax of 3.5% will also be introduced on property with a value of €175,000 for those buying a residence they live in, and for those who inherit their current residence.

Another reform is aimed for those aged under 40 who, although they are eligible for bank loans, they do not have enough money to pay the deposit of 10%. With this scheme, the Government in agreement with the banks, will loan the deposit amount which is paid back on a period of 15 years while the loan interest is paid by the Government.

On the private rents subsidies, the Government announced that from January more persons will benefit. A person who lives alone, with an income of €19,000 a year and a couple with two children with an annual income of up to €32,000, will be entitled for the subsidy.

An extension for a year will be given on schemes announced in recent years for better tax rates for those who purchase a property in Gozo or a property in an urban conservation area and restoration of old properties. The scheme ‘Irrestawra Darek’ will also be extended for another year.

Regarding social accommodation, dilapidated Government properties will be refurbished to be used as social housing. Work will also continue on the building of 2,400 housing units, while the regeneration of apartment blocks in housing estates will continue.

Next year, the Housing Authority will continue with works on two or three rooms apartments according to the needs of elderly persons with the aim that two or three elderly persons live together and assist each other. The Authority will also work on a pilot project so that families with members of different ages live together in a sense of community.

From next January, the transfer of property air rights with a value of €100,000 will be taxed by 15%, with the tax collected by the notary on contract. Each profit above this value will be taxed by a 35% rate.

Next year an online system will be built, through the establishment of the Lands Registration Agency, which will facilitate the registration of property which, among others, will lead to the registration of all lands on a period of years.

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