MALTA

ABOUT MALTA

Malta is a safe country with friendly people living a European lifestyle and enjoying the good life that the Mediterranean offers. The population totals circa 432,000 and the official languages are Maltese and English. One of the thriving economies of the European Union, Malta is neutral and highly respected, and enjoys a democratic, stable political climate. Malta is a member of major international organisations including the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the International Monetary Fund.

Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and part of Schengen since 2007. The nation has weathered the global financial crises well and shared the limelight with Germany as the only two states in the Eurozone maintaining economic growth.

The country has a well-educated society and an English-speaking talented workforce, with an educational system that matches any European institution. Malta is well connected to Europe and the world via sea links and no less than 30 airlines including the country’s national airline.

History and geography

The Maltese archipelago lies some kilometres south of Sicily, Italy, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It has a 7,500 year history and the country’s megalithic temples are said to be among the earliest settlements in the world. It is a nation rich in cultural heritage and for this reason is often called an open air museum.

Christianity arrived to the Islands in 60AD. Other important dates in the country’s history are the Great Siege in 1565, the independence from Britain in 1964 after having been a colony for more than 200 years, becoming a Republic in 1975 and joining the European Union in 2004.

Malta was always well positioned as a strategic geographical, cultural and political stepping-stone between Europe and North Africa.

Economics

Malta enjoys a favourable macro-economic environment and boasts a robust financial services industry that withstood the test of the global financial crisis. Highly developed industries include tourism and hospitality, manufacturing and igaming.

Malta’s employment rate keeps growing, alongside a drop in the unemployment rate, to record lows. In February 2018, international agency Fitch Ratings confirmed Malta’s credit rating at A+ stable, while Moody’s and DBRS gave Malta an ‘A High’. Fitch forecasts a 5.9% growth for the country in 2018. The economy flourishes against a background of a sound legal system.

Business in Malta

The Government of Malta is currently employing a pro-business policy, attracting foreign capital and direct investment through attractive incentives. Malta boasts a highly motivated work force base, while official documentation and legislation is in English, making commercial transactions easy.

Malta is a well-respected highly regulated financial services hub, has an important shipping register and is a major world jurisdiction for tax-free yacht registrations.

Malta attracts international trading and holding companies due to its low-tax regime. Malta grants tax and other incentives to foreign persons or companies setting up business in Malta, including low rents for factories and low interest loans.

Lifestyle

Malta’s mild climate is a crucial element to the good life that the nation enjoys. With 300 days of sunshine, people are out and about, enjoying food and drink al fresco, walks and strolls. The bar and restaurant culture is booming and the beaches in summer are a family affair. Family life is important in Malta and the extended family unit is central to social activity, where both children and elderly relatives are part of it.

Valletta currently holds the title of The European Capital of Culture. Beyond this, one is always spoilt for choice for cultural activities with an annual calendar that is choc a bloc with various events, from popular culture like village feasts, band club activities and carnival to high-brow events, museums, music concerts, film screenings, theatre and dance.

The very low crime rate makes Malta a perfect place to relocate a family with young children.

WHY MALTA

Malta’s Real Estate

The construction and real estate sector has always been one of the main business drivers of the Maltese economy and investment in property remains one of the most solid, safe and popular types of assets in Malta. Trends in the market are watched closely, since they are indicators of how the economy is doing, of wealth and private consumption, and collateral.

Residential and commercial property sales increased significantly in 2017 compared to the previous year, as did the number of people employed in real estate. Due to an increased influx of expatriates working and living in Malta, the demand locals, foreigners and investors keeps rising.

The flourishing property market is not expected to slow down anytime soon, making property purchase a short, medium and long-term lucrative investment. All the more attractive is the fact that, as things stand, prices are still comparatively reasonable.

These elements make investment in property a strong opportunity for citizens by investment.

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CYPRUS

ABOUT CYPRUS

The island nation of Cyprus is the third largest island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and is strategically located to the east of Greece, between the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. With a warm climate and almost year-round sunshine, Cyprus offers an enviable safe Mediterranean lifestyle and a great place to work and live.

The Republic of Greece is a member state of the European Union since 2004 and a member of the Eurozone since 2008. The country boasts a solid legal system, an attractive tax regime and a reputable international business hub.

History and geography

The island of Cyprus has been inhabited since the 10th millennium BC and has one of the oldest histories in the world. Testament to this are the remains of numerous ancient civilisations to be found across the island, dating back to the Neolithic period. The island was once rich in copper and timber, copper being one of the most valuable commodities of the ancient world, giving it strategic commercial value.

The island was taken over by a string of colonisers attracted by its rich natural resources – the Achaean Greeks, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, and the British from which they gained independence in 1960.

The new republic was plagued by disputes between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. Since then, despite many attempts to resolve the Cyprus problem, the island has been divided into Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities separated by a UN-manned ‘Green Line’. In 1983 the Turkish Cypriot leadership declared independence, unrecognised by the international community.

 

 Economics

The economy of Cyprus is classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy, and was included by the International Monetary Fund in its list of advanced economies in 2001. The country turned itself around after the financial crisis of 2013, showing it could bounce back with tough austerity measures that restructured and diversified its economy.

The country has a relatively low rate of unemployment, at 11.1% in December 2017. The economy expanded 4% year on year in Q4 2017 and economic growth is expected to remain robust in 2018 due to thriving tourism, manufacturing growth and improvement of public finances.

Business in Cyprus

Cyprus is a popular country for direct foreign investment with opportunities in tourism, shipping, oil and gas and health. The government plays a big role in aiding business growth due to many business-friendly incentives for those with Cyprus citizenship and a strong infrastructure for doing business.

Lifestyle

Cyprus is a safe country and its warm climate is a catalyst for a culture of outdoor activity and lifestyle. Its beaches are pristine. Its food eaten al fresco and its history are a large part of what makes tourism in Cyprus a cultural experience. The population can understand and speak English and it is no wonder that the country has been attracting a large number of expats in recent years.

In Cyprus, schooling up to higher education is provided by the state. The country also boats a large number of accredited private educational institutions. Public healthcare is inexpensive and even free in some cases for those who have Cyprus citizenship. Private healthcare is also relatively inexpensive and of comparative high-quality.

The country has a low crime rate, making it a great place to raise a family. This coupled with a laid back lifestyle and a high standard of living on the back of higher purchasing power makes Cyprus an ideal place to relocate.

WHY CYPRUS

Cyprus’ Real Estate

Demand for property is increasing and during 2017, property sales in Cyprus rose by around 19.6% from the previous year. Sales to the domestic market rose 12.6% and sales to the overseas market were up by 41.3%, based on figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys. This growth in the property market is partly driven by Cyprus’ recovering economy.

The average price for homes in Nicosia is similar to that of Great Britian and the United States, at approximately $400,000 USD. Out of the city, the average price drops to about $310,000 USD. The average rental yield is 5.29% per annum. The housing market is expected to continue to improve amidst continued economic growth.

The Cyprus real estate market has historically been divided into the major urban centres of Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca and the seaside resort areas of Paphos and Famagusta.

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PORTUGAL

ABOUT PORTUGAL

Portugal is an attractive country for expatriates, whether it is sought after for family relocation or as a base for doing business. Portugal became a member of the European Union in 1986 and became part of Schengen in 1995. The country has a solid political system and a fast growing economy, bouncing back from the financial crisis. Its European standard of living includes access to high quality educational institutions and health care services.

History and Geography

Portugal is located in the west of Europe on the west coast of Iberia, flanked by Spain. The state also includes Madeira and Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. Its topography is diverse and ranges from the Mediterranean beaches in the south to mountainous ranges towards the north and east of the country.

In the medieval period and beyond, Portugal was a world power, only to lose its wealth in a series of events including a destructive earthquake, the Napoleonic occupation and the independence of its colony Brazil. Its monarchy was overthrown in 1910, followed by repressive governments for a period of more than sixty years.

A coup in 1974 ushered in democracy. Independence to the country’s African colonies was granted in 1975.

Economics

One of the main economic drivers of the country is tourism. However, other sectors of the economy are registering significant growth, like aeronautics, mechanical manufacturing and software. In the meantime, the government is narrowing down its deficit, after measures following the financial crisis brought the country back on track. Industrial production is gaining ground as is the labour market.

Lifestyle

Portugal has a chequered history and this is reflected in the country’s architecture, culture and values. The people are friendly and hospitable, and the family unit is still a focal point for many citizens. English is Portugal’s second language, making social and business communication easy. Moreover, many also speak French and Spanish.

Its location between the Mediterranean and Atlantic seas makes the weather moderate and daily life could be considered as relatively less hectic than in other European countries.

These factors, coupled with European mobility and excellent connections to the rest of the world make relocating to Portugal very enticing.

WHY PORTUGAL

Portugal Real Estate Market

Portugal’s economic development, as well as increased demand from foreign buyers, has spurred growth in the real estate market. Indeed, property prices rose 4.84% over the previous year (Nov 2017). Despite this, real estate in Portugal is still relatively cheap and gives very good value for money to the buyer. Algarve registers the most expensive property, followed by Lisbon and Madeira.

In Porugal there are no restrictions on the ownership of property by foreigners and transaction costs are relatively on the low side.

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GREECE

ABOUT GREECE

It is easy to understand why Greece is such an attractive country for expatriates to relocate in search for a pleasant lifestyle and future. The country is one rich with history, culture and traditions. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean and only an hour plane ride away from three continents, Greece offers safe residence where the sun shines and the English-speaking people are hospitable, where natural beauty offers a life outdoors and so much travel opportunity and where the cuisine entices the most avid foodie.

Geography and history

Located in the South of Europe, Greece is flanked by the Aegean Sea and Turkey. To the north it is bordered by Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria and to the south by the Libyan Sea. The Ionian Sea separates Greece from Italy. Greece’s peninsula includes no less than 2,000 islands, some famous with tourists and travellers. The capital city Athens is home to around one third of the country’s entire population.

The notions of Greek history conjure up the great mythological stories of the ancient gods, Spartan bravery, the foundations of western philosophy, the cradle of the democratic political system and the first Olympic games. With archaeological sites dating from pre-history, Greece holds a veritable immensely rich history, usually divided into different periods ranging from the Neolithic and Hellenic to those of Ancient Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, among others, before modern Greece was established.

Greece declared independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821. It then extended its territory to include Crete, Macedon, Thessaly, the Ionian Islands and the Aegean.

The Second World War saw Greece occupied by the Germans, an occupation that was followed by a civil war. In 1967 a military coup overthrew the government and the monarchy. In 1975 Greece became a democracy.

Economics and business

After years of financial crisis Greece is experiencing growth in its GDP that has risen at its fastest rate in nearly ten years. This indicates that the country’s economy is bouncing back, backed by a government intent to reduce its debt. Investment activity and the labour market are accelerating, juxtaposed with a decreasing domestic spend. The manufacturing sector is registering highs while industrial production fell. These factors attest to an economy that is still volatile, while the banking system is still under scrutiny.

Most commerce in Greece happens around Athens, but the rest of the country also offers business opportunities for foreign investment. The largest industries in Greece are tourism, energy, food processing, agriculture and retail, with opportunities in rising industries such as manufacturing generic pharmaceuticals and medical tourism.

Lifestyle

Like any Mediterranean culture, life in Greece pivots around traditions, culture, food and drink, family and religious festivals. The coffee culture is particularly strong as the warm weather conspires to bring people outdoors for leisurely strolls and to meet and chat with neighbours and friends. The low crime rate makes the country ideal for settling with a family and raising children. This, coupled with a welcoming English-speaking community.

WHY GREECE

Greece Property Market 

Price of real estate in Greece is one of the lowest when compared to other countries offering European residency.

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