The Federation of Estate Agents (FEA) has become an affiliate member of the Malta Developers Association (MDA). The agreement was signed this weekend at the Palace Hotel, Sliema, in the presence of the Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth, Dr Josè Herrera.
Dr Herrera said that the White Paper to regulate the estate agencies, announced in the 2015 Budget, is to be issued in the coming months. He congratulated the two associations on coming together to face new challenges and noted that apart from the growth in property sales, the presence of many foreigners employed in the igaming, ICT and financial services sectors had also led to a boom in the rental of properties.
Speaking during the ceremony, MDA President Sandro Chetcuti said the MDA’s aim was to promote sustainable development that was better integrated with the environment to ensure a higher quality end product.
This is the fourth industry body to become affiliated within the MDA following the Federation of Building Contractors (FOBC) in 2013, and the Malta Furniture Manufacturers Organisation (MFMO) and the Quarry Owners Association last year. The MDA is working to be the biggest player in the property and construction sector, including all trades that work so that projects are completed.
Douglas Salt, President of the FEA, said the Federation has had good relations with the MDA since it was set up. Since the two bodies were on many of the same boards and had the same overall goals, it made sense for the Federation to become affiliated with the MDA.
An example of the similar initiatives was when the MDA convinced the government on the waiving of stamp duty for first-time buyers. Turnover in property sales, as a result, increased from €1.3 billion in 2013 to €1.94 billion in 2014. In terms of the rental market, some 55,000 foreigners were being employed in various sectors with the majority renting properties in all areas around the country.
The Federation of Estate Agents was established in 2004 to work hand in hand with the government and the various entities related to the real estate industry. Its 30 members represent a large majority of estate agents in the Maltese islands. The primary objectives of the federation include:
To ensure that the various policies and laws concerning the industry protect the interests of both the client and the related businesses;
To ensure that all business is conducted ethically between agents and their clients, as well as between the agents themselves;
To raise the standards of the real estate industry in Malta; and
To secure the advancement and facilitate the acquisition of the knowledge requisite for the carrying out of this business.
The affiliation agreement was signed by MDA Secretary General Michael Stivala and FEA Secretary General David Aquilina.