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A Quick Look at Property in Malta

Malta is one of the smaller islands of the Mediterranean but it packs a lot in. Among the highlights are attractive countryside, glorious beaches, traditional Maltese houses in a warm golden stone, smart new developments, brand-new marinas and medieval history.

You could buy an apartment in the beautifully and sensitively redeveloped Valletta – gearing up to be European City of Culture in 2018 – or a townhouse in the coastal villages where the catch still arrives on the quayside every morning. Or maybe quieter Gozo would be more to your taste?

The British are allowed to buy a main residence wherever they like on Malta or Gozo, but for investment properties they are limited to Special Designated Areas (SDAs). Property tends to divides into the older “houses of character”, farmhouses and apartments. Traditional Maltese architecture was in the local golden-beige stone, with thick walls and marble floors. These are a very popular option to do up, especially in the inland villages like Naxxar and Mosta, or the Three Cities across the harbour from Valletta.

As in many other islands, the locals have been happy to move from the country to smart new city apartments, while the overseas buyers have been delighted to buy up and renovate their old farmhouses. Malta also has some exceptional new developments such as Tigne Point and Pender Place, while Gozo boasts the new Fort Chambray redevelopment. 

The island has ties with the UK that make travelling here, buying here and driving here – they drive on the left – a pleasure. The Queen and Prince Philip spent their early married life in Malta and occasionally pop back for a state visit. Although our naval bases closed 25 years ago, more than 5,000 British people live here and English is an official language, which certainly makes the buying process feel easier.

Malta is the most densely populated country in Europe, but it doesn’t feel that way. The 432,000 people live on three islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino, which together add up to just over 300 square kilometres. That’s 25 percent smaller than the Isle of Wight and you are never more than seven kilometres from the sea.

Despite the small size, however, Malta manages to have some cutting edge industries that offer work to expats, including a film production industry, cosmetic surgery, IT and software, and tourism. Malta is one of the few small islands to have year-round budget flights direct from the UK, which makes it especially attractive for workers, but also the retired, who have traditionally been drawn to Malta by our long historical ties. Malta also has a pretty benign tax regime for expats.

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If you would like more information about buying property in Malta, why not download our free guide to the Maltese buying process.

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