Malta seek to attract more overseas property buyers

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Malta seek to attract more overseas property buyers

Malta property experts are calling on the Maltese government to reintroduce a scheme previously used to attract overseas nationals to buy property in Malta.

The initiative, known as the Permanent Residency Scheme, offered various tax incentives to some foreigners who bought a home in Malta. But the government's decision to put the initiative on hold may now deter some people from investing in the Malta property market, according to some property experts.

The government suspended the Permanent Residency Scheme last December in order to amend the system to ensure that foreigners did not abuse it. But three months later and it still remains on hold, leaving prospective property purchasers with some degree of uncertainty.

Ian Casolani, chairman of the real estate business section of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, told the Malta Times that he was disappointed in the government's decision to suspend the scheme "without warning or consultation".

He added: "Malta's reputation as a serious financial services centre is also at risk, especially in a situation where the goalposts can be changed or even removed without any notification."

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