Why Buy in Gozo, Malta?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Why Buy in Gozo, Malta?

A year ago Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were in Gozo shooting their film By the Sea, a trip billed as their "working honeymoon" after their wedding in August.

The Jolie-Pitts were pictured in the press both filming - scenes were shot in stunning Mgarr ix-Xini Bay - but also touring the island in a private yacht or vintage convertible during filming breaks - in Xahgra Square and Sannat.

It was a great advert for the beautiful attractions such as the Azure Window and the UNESCO listed Ggantija Temples - and tourism on the island "boomed" this summer according to locals.

The film was released in the UK in late 2015 but if you've fallen in love with the small island of Gozo on the big screen how about a holiday home there? Here's a quick guide.


Quick facts about Gozo


* Gozo is 6km west of Malta, with Comino in between

* It is 67m2, inhabited by 37,000 Gozitans.

* Its capital is Rabat, also known as Victoria.

* With no airport, it is reached by ferry from Malta.

* The Azure Window (limestone arch) appeared in Game of Thrones

* Property closing costs are 4.5-7per cent.


Why (else) is interest high in Gozo?


Apart from the Brangelina effect, people are heading there who had formerly considered Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, according to agents.

"Gozo is a very safe, secure location that offers the great climate and beaches for northern Europeans," says Frank Salt's Marie Grech.


But why choose Gozo over Malta?


Whilst it's definitely more laidback, sleepy even, the landscape is more diverse and the atmosphere of the less-populated villages makes it easier to integrate, say Gozitans.


What is the property market doing?


Stable for the past five years, a surplus of stock has dried up and now there's a "big shortage" in the highly popular €300,000 to €400,000 price band. For that you can get a two- to five-bed home, depending on location, views and land. Farmhouses and traditional "houses of character" are popular.


Where to buy?


The holiday resorts of Xlendi and Marsalforn offer the best choice of apartments - expect to pay €90,000 to €150,000, or seafront at €300,000 - whilst the larger towns of Xaghra, Qala and Nadur are suit full-time residents.

Sannat - and Chawdex (lovely houses) are becoming quite popular too, according to Frank Salt. In the west San Lorenz, Gharb and Ghasri are popular with foreign buyers.


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Liz Rowlinson


Liz Rowlinson

Originally published in the A Place in the Sun magazine - Issue 124