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Malta Property Buyers’ Guide

Located off the coast of Italy lies the small archipelago officially known as the Republic of Malta. Famous for its sea cliffs, rich history and beautiful beaches, it remains a hidden gem that has plenty to offer tourists and expats alike. Ideal for a relaxing time by the beach or a more historical focused adventure, Malta has something for everyone making it an ideal place to buy property.

Why Pick Malta?

Featuring beautiful Maltese architecture, most houses are made of golden-beige stone with thick walls and marble floors. If classic isn’t your style there’s a selection of exceptional new developments to choose from. Malta has no mountains or rivers, mainly consisting of low and rocky terrain with coastal cliffs. The coastline has a number of beaches, bays and harbours.

Malta is actually made up of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Each offers a different experience. Malta is the largest and most populated, offering a mix of urban and rural areas. Gozo is a tranquil haven famous for its fishing industry and agriculture. Comino is the smallest and mostly uninhabited but still offers sights to see.

Here is a helpful guide to buying property in Malta.

What to do in Malta

Malta is only 317 square kilometres, meaning that you never have to travel far to find something amazing to do. Depending on your lifestyle, you’ll always find something to do across the archipelago. Below are a few highlights of Maltese activities you can look forward to.

Caravaggio’s Work

While based in Rome for most of his life, Caravaggio was forced to leave after killing a man in a duel. After a few months in Naples, he made his way to Malta. Here he painted his largest ever work, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, which hangs in St. John’s Co-Cathedral to this day. It remains one of Malta’s most popular tourist attractions.

Comino

Nestled between Malta and Gozo is the tiny gem that is Comino. Measuring just 3.5 square kilometres in area, it only has a permanent population of two. Despite its small size, there is still plenty on offer, such as St Mary’s Tower, a large watchtower with a rich history. A highlight is the Blue Lagoon, a picturesque bay of transparent cyan waters, ideal for snorkelers, divers and swimmers.

Food and Drink

Malta’s food incorporates elements of the many civilisations that have called Malta home over the years, making it an eclectic Mediterranean mix of different styles that provides dishes filled with passion and flavour. Traditional Maltese food includes pastizzi, a fluffy pastry stuffed with ricotta or a pea paste and arancini balls. Due to the surrounding waters, fish such as lampuka and swordfish are key parts of a Maltese diet and you can find fresh fish served daily in most restaurants.

Local and international travel information

Malta has well-established travel links to a variety of European hub cities, meaning you can easily get here in as little as 3 and a half hours.

Weather

Malta is famous for its sunny subtropical climate, with over 300 sunny days per year. The days are long during the summer and reach temperatures of up to 30 degrees celsius. Even in the winter, you can expect warm weather, with the lowest average temperature being around 9 degrees in January. It also has a low rate of rainfall, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy the Mediterranean sun for longer.

Culture

Malta has a surprisingly rich history dating back to around 5200 BC. Megalithic temples built around 5000 years ago are still standing today, making them some of the oldest existing, free-standing structures in the world.

Over the years a number of different cultures have called Malta home, including the Cathigans, Romans, Greeks, Arabs and the British each making their mark on the country. Influences of these inhabitants are still seen to this day, such as renaissance architecture or the names of many towns and villages stemming from the Arab invasion.

Catholicism is the predominant religion and the Maltese honour their village’s patron saints in the Maltese Festa held annually in the summer months. Each village has a different patron saint, with Maltese band clubs organising band marches that compete against each other. Open

Where to buy properties

Valletta

Valletta is the capital city of Malta and holds the distinction of being the European Union’s smallest capital city. This is more of an urban environment at the heart of the capital, so if you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere, it might be best to avoid Valletta.

Gozo

Gozo is the second-largest island in the Republic of Malta archipelago. While less developed than the island of Malta, it is known for its historical locations and scenic hills. It is also regarded as one of the top diving destinations in the Mediterranean, with high visibility and stunning underwater topography. You can find both classical architecture and new modern projects on the island, making Gozo a good choice whatever your dream property looks like.

The Three Cities

Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua are known collectively as The Three Cities and are famous for their harbour inlets that have been used since Phoenician times (2500 BC - 64 BC). Cospicua is the largest, with a thriving market centre in the heart of its docklands. Senglea offers superb harbour views looking across to Valletta, and Vittoriosa has many important architectural developments. They all offer much-desired waterfront properties

Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk and Mellieha

A few miles east of Valletta is the gorgeous seaside town of Marsaskala. Originally a fishing village, it has grown into a tourist destination and a popular choice for property buyers. Marsaxlokk is further down the coast and offers some of the best seafood restaurants in the country. If you head west from Valletta instead, you’ll reach Mellieha. Mellieha is popular with all types of buyers because of its tranquil location and picturesque beaches.

The types of typical properties

The Republic of Malta offers a variety of different options so you can find the type of property to suit you. The typical types of properties in Malta include:

Villas

A villa offers a luxurious home away from home. They can come with private pools, spacious grounds and plenty of space. Villas tend to offer more privacy, being in more rural areas away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Luxury villas will cost you around 1 million euros depending on your needs.

Houses

If you are looking to move to Malta permanently, a house might be the best investment for you, especially if you are coming with a family and want plenty of space. Houses can vary in price depending on room numbers, locations and other factors. Prices start around the €350,000 mark and can extend into the millions.

Apartments

An apartment offers a place right in the heart of town in the middle of everything. They offer great views of the mountain and countryside while also offering a range of modern amenities for an affordable price. For an apartment, prices begin at €95,000 to around €300,000 for a 3 bedroom.

You should think very carefully about the type of property you are looking for. Houses might suit a whole family's move and are larger, but this may not be right for you if you’re a single adult who wants to be in the middle of everything. Retirees might want to consider location, preferring an idyllic seaside town over an apartment in Valletta.

Moving: Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit, Special Designated Areas and Paperwork

Maltese Law allows foreign nationals to purchase a holiday or second home. If you are a citizen of the EU and have lived in Malta continuously for at least five years, you can buy a property with ease. However, if you don’t fit this distinction, you will need to apply for an Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit (AIP).

However, Malta has Special Designated Areas consisting of new, high-end developments where you can purchase property without an AIP. These offer properties in an area full of the best supermarkets, spas, restaurants with the best amenities and facilities.

When all permissions and checks have gone through, you can sign the final contract and pay the balance of all the taxes, fees and the asking price. The whole process should not take longer than three months.

You should make sure you consider all elements of admin before moving: including sorting visas, work permits, organising pension, mortgage arrangements and how to move your belongings abroad. Getting these items sorted as early as possible will prevent any delays in the process.

How OfferPal can help you

Thinking of making the move down to the gem that is Malta? Use Offerpal’s easy to use real estate search engine to find the best properties across the archipelago, ranging from apartments to luxury villas with views of gorgeous countryside and stunning oceans. We work with leading real estate agencies and properties in over 13 countries and are dedicated to finding your dream home abroad.

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