First-time buyers who buy a home in village core will get €15,000 grant

Budget 2022 proposes afforestation of Inwadar park; grant for UCA property buys in Gozo raised to €30,000

A render of what the Inwadar national park could like with an afforestation project by a group of architecture firms
A render of what the Inwadar national park could like with an afforestation project by a group of architecture firms


First-time buyers will be eligible for a €15,000 grant when buying any property in the urban conservation area (UCA).

UCAs are designated areas in village cores which are given additional protection from development in terms of building heights and are generally protected from demolition works. 

The benefit is aimed at redirecting the construction industry towards the rehabilitation of vacant and dilapidated buildings and will also apply to buyers of any property which has been vacant for more than seven years and which was built over 20 years ago, irrespective of where the property is located.

The incentive will also apply to those buying new properties built in traditional Maltese architecture. It is not clear whether this will also apply to properties build on undeveloped land.     

The grant for first time buyers will be raised to €30,000 when the property is located in Gozo.

The measure also contemplates the complete removal of capital gains tax and stamp duties on the first €750,000 in the price of these three types of properties. To ensure that these measures will not fuel speculation, new rules will come in place to forbid the division of these properties in different units.

The measures contemplated in this budget represent a more robust and ambitious package over similar but less comprehensive measures introduced in different budgets over the past decade, which so far have yielded limited results.

The budget singles out the construction sector for its impact on the environment and commits the government to introduce a licensing system for building contractors through which the state can “strong-arm” those who abuse, not only in the way they build but also in the way they treat workers on their sites.  The licensing system will also include quality certification, which rewards those who engage in good and sustainable practices. 

The budget also recognises the shortcomings of this government in regulating the sector but also extends the blame on the opposition, singling out the extension of building boundaries in 2006.

But no commitment is given on a reform of planning regulations and local plans to restrain over development except for a proposed new policy on aesthetics through which government will “encourage more uniform and comprehensive development”.

The government is also committed to draft a building code to regulate demolition and excavation works and protect third party rights.

The reform foresees the appointment of a Construction Project Manager who will be responsible for works on these building sites.

The government is also committed on a €20 million investment over five years in the afforestation of the Inwadar Park in Żonqor point; but no reference is made to the 18,000sq.m of ODZ land allocated to the American University of Malta in 2015.

The budget also refers to investment number of urban green spaces in various localities like Zabbar, Qormi, Hamrun and Mosta.

The government will also continue its studies on the pedestrianisation of St Anne Street in Floriana.

The Ta’ Qali park will also be including a €4 million drainage and potable water treatment plant to cater for the park’s irrigation needs.

As regards air quality the budget restates the commitment to implement the ship to shore project in both the Grand Harbour and the Free Port.

To encourage more sustainable behaviour, the government will also be distributing starter kits of sustainable products for newborns.