Frank Salt Real Estate holds Annual General Conference
Despite the global financial crisis, Frank Salt Real Estate Ltd still registered a good year throughout most of its operations during 2008 and sees great opportunities for buyers during 2009. Company Managing Director, Joseph Lupi, presented an overview of the Company’s last year’s operations and its plans for this year, during the Company’s Annual General Conference held at the end of March at the Victoria Hotel in Sliema.
The Company’s area of operation which was mostly affected by the global crisis was its overseas operations, which saw a drop in demand by overseas buyers mostly from the UK, Malta’s largest market. This was mostly attributed to the adverse housing market in the UK plus the drop in the value of the Sterling against the Euro. Demand from other countries was still fairly good.
As far as the local market was concerned, the Company reported encouraging results throughout most of its branches, with the market slowing down towards the last quarter of the year. “This has nothing to do with the international crisis,” said Mr Lupi. “Although the global crisis may have an impact on some sectors of our economy, the situation here is nothing compared to what other countries are experiencing. It is more likely that buyer confidence was adversely affected by the introduction of the new energy bills and the time in discussing these bills which slowed down the market and not just the property market. The fact that the local market picked up during the first quarter of this year, clearly confirms this as energy rates should now be going down,” he added.
Liquidity in the monetary market was still very high during the year resulting in a good demand for ‘Buy to Let’ property and overseas property particularly in Tuscany and Ragusa, Sicily, the latter being a new location which was launched by the Company last year and which is proving very successful with local clients.
The residential letting divisions registered growth of 80 per cent throughout 2008, as well as, in commercial leases particularly that of office space.
“Although under prevailing economic conditions it is very difficult to forecast how the market will perform during 2009, we believe that 2009 will be a year of opportunities for property buyers. When one considers the choice of good value properties available, the lowest rates of Bank loan interest ever and the best ever rental returns in a booming rental market, there is not doubt in my mind that now is the best time to buy. We have already seen a positive come back in buyer confidence during the first quarter this year and indications are showing that this should continue”, said Mr Lupi.
During the conference, awards were handed out for Best Sales and Letting Consultants 2008, Best Employee 2008 and Best Branch which was won by San Gwann Branch.
The conference which was attended by the staff, Company Associates and guests was opened by the Chairman, Mr Frank Salt who on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Company highlighted some of the achievements of the Company, throughout these years.