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Low rentals masking real extent of poverty '" economist

People paid very low rates for rentals in the past, which could have been masking the true extent of poverty, economist Gordon Cordina has said.
Addressing a conference on rents organised by the Malta Institute of Management, he warned that the government should not underestimate the impact of rising rental prices.
"The government needs proper data if it is to lead an orderly development of the market. Data will prevent perceptions being formed that may be incorrect. What we need are credible benchmarks of what is really going on," he said.
The need for data was also raised by Nationalist Party property market spokeswoman Marthese Portelli.
She said policymakers should adopt a strategic approach to prevent bubbles, to maintain positive aspects of the sector and to help the vulnerable
With the population forecast to rise to 600,000 within the next 15 years, which Dr Cordina said was at the limit of Malta's capacity, the important thing was to go for quality that would endure once the economy started to level off or slow down.
"We need to ensure a prudent investment approach that assumes more realistic settled market prices, which would be sustainable under any economic...

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