Steve Ellul / LinkedIn

Project Green CEO Steve Ellul on Thursday highlighted the need for banks to be incentivised to offer cheaper green home loans rates.

This came as he was making reference to the Real Estate Survey 2023 conducted by professional services firm PwC Malta, which analysed the local sentiment towards local real estate demand preferences. In one particular area of the study respondents were asked which factors would influence them the most should a home loan be required to acquire a property. 78 per cent stated that the interest rate offered would have an impact on their decision, while 18 per cent cited their relationship with the bank as a factor.

On the other hand, 20 per cent of Maltese people are “willing to take up home loans with embedded sustainability features”.

While this is an improvement from the eight per cent that was registered last year, it is “still a far cry from the 80 per cent who simply go for loans offering cheaper rates”, Mr Ellul said.

“We need to turn this figure upside down. We need 80 per cent of our mortgages to have green options embedded in them so we can truly send an economic signal to developers: build better, build greener,” he explained.

Mr Ellul added that the “best way” to achieve this is through incentives provided to banks so that they offer “cheaper rates” for green home loans.

Mr Ellul has been CEO at Project Green since the Government agency’s launch in January. The agency is tasked with creating, maintaining, and invigorating the Maltese Islands’ parks, gardens, and other green infrastructure to ensure “healthier, happier lifestyles and a more sustainable environment”.

Aside from his role at Project Green, Mr Ellul is a Visiting Lecturer at University of Malta, lecturing on principles of finance. He previously worked as Policy Advisor at Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise for two years, and also had an extensive career at Bank of Valletta plc, during which time he was Portfolio Manager and was also Head of Asset Management at its asset management subsidiary.

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