are the ideal home in the Mediterranean since they have managed to blend
their rich historical past with a modern way of living. With its
location in the middle of the Mediterranean,
Malta is well used to being
invaded, back as far as the Romans. However, the next invasion of the
island won't be by bloodthirsty empire builders but by property
investors attracted by its history, climate and cheap property prices
that are among the lowest in Europe.
Sliema is a modern
commercial centre with apartment blocks towering the shore line. Apart
from its natural beauty, peaceful way of life, rich in cultural and
historical heritage and warm hospitality, it has a lot to offer.
Situated in the middle of the
Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily the
Republic of Malta consists of seven islands, although only three are
The population of
Malta is estimated at only 404,039 and the small capital of
home to only 6,315 people. However the island is far from lonely as the
population density is recorded as 1,282 per square
kilometre, which is one of the highest in the world. For
tourists, the island has proved equally popular. 1,124,233 people
visited Malta in 2006 and it ranks as the 49th most popular tourist
destination. The number of foreigners buying in Malta has grown by 35%
in recent years.
Malta joined the EU
in 2004 and adopted the Euro in January 2008.
Malta in the EU includes links to Maltese government sites and
How to Buy Property:
development there are many English newspapers such as The Malta
Financial and Business Times and The Malta Independent. There are many
local estate agents and it is safest to use those accredited by the
Federation of Estate Agents in Valletta, the Federation of Overseas
Property Developers, Agents and Consultants or the Association of
International Property Professionals. There are restrictions on buying
property. EU citizens can only buy one property in
in the 'Specially Designated Areas' [SDAs], where there are no limits.
These are usually up market areas where prices are growing fastest and
demand is high.
Restrictions: If you are seriously considering
buying a property in Malta, there are some legal restrictions that you
should be aware of. Foreigners are entitled to purchase only one
residential property in Malta or Gozo (unless one purchases in a Special
Designated Area such as e.g. Portomaso) on acquiring an Acquisition of
Immovable Property Permit (A.I.P Permit) from the Ministry of Finance,
which normally is issued within three months. Subject to the conditions
- The purchase price must be at least 99.000€ in
the case of an apartment and Lm 165,024€ in the case of a house.
However, if the property you have your eye on is a renovation
project, you may be able to secure the deal for under these price
brackets, providing that you spend the difference on the renovation
- Proof that funds for the purchase of the
property have originated from abroad
- The property is for the sole residential use
of the purchaser and his immediate family or guests when accompanied
by the owner. The residence may only be rented out if the property
enjoys the use of a swimming pool, provided that the property is
licensed as holiday accommodation by the Hotels and Catering
Establishments Board or if the property purchased is in a Special
the SDAs can only be used for personal use and a second property can
only be bought after residing on the island for five years. When buying
the first step is to get a notary and once a property has been chosen
they will set up the agreement. Upon signing, a deposit of 10% is
The SDAs are located
around Portomaso, Cottonera Waterfront and Sellum Village up market
areas where rental return is good and demand for property high. The
Northern part of the island around Bugibba, St Paul's Bay and Qawra are
very popular for holiday apartments.
Gozo, the smaller island, has been
enjoying growing popularity as it is more rural and quieter than
introduced by the government in order to protect locals from being
priced out of the market, which seems sensible taking into account the
small size of the islands.
The Rental Market:
Average rental yields are around 6.9% for properties in Valetta and a
little higher in Gozo. As a result of the building boom there is now an
over supply of apartments, therefore rental yields have been stagnant
for about 10 years and have gone down in some areas.
only rent their property if it is valued over 233,800, it has a pool and
it is officially registered with the Hotel and Catering Establishments
Board. Foreigners can also only rent their properties on a short term
basis. The best rental properties are two-bed apartments at least 120sq
m and situated in the SDAs.
Foreigners can only sell their Maltese properties to Maltese citizens.
They can only sell to other foreign nationals if a Maltese or EU buyer
Mortgages/Loans: Mortgages in Malta are relatively easy to arrange, with lenders such
as Bank of Valletta, APS Bank, Lombard Bank and HSBC who are used to
dealing with British buyers. It is possible to borrow up to 90 per cent
of the purchase price, but this really depends on the amount that you
want to borrow, and what your existing financial commitments are. The
minimum loan amount is around 20.000€ but, no matter how much you decide
to borrow, you will always have to provide proof of income.
Once you have secured a local mortgage, it is possible to re-finance but
only if the purpose of this is for home improvements on that particular
The length of loans also tends to be lower than in the UK, around ten to
20 years, and interest rates are generally higher (around seven per
cent). Repayment and interest-only mortgages are available. Therefore it
would be worth considering raising the finance for your Maltese home in
the UK, either with a British mortgage or by releasing equity in an