Malta packs glorious variety in its small archipelago. The island of Malta boasts a European lifestyle, infused with Mediterranean bliss. The Maltese are a friendly Maltese and English-speaking bunch. Despite its tiny size, island’s total population is circa 432,000. Malta’s population boost has been thanks to its thriving economy which has, in recent years, been considered to be one of Europe’s most thriving economies. Its democratic and stable political climate is an additional attraction. Malta’s neutrality, moreover, has allowed the country to be a member of major international organisations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the International Monetary Fund.
The island has been a member of the European Union and the Schengen Area since 2004 and 2007 respectively. Since then, the small island nation has gone on to successfully weather the global financial crises of 2008 and, nonetheless, even share the limelight with robust economies such as Germany. In fact, Malta and Germany were the only two countries which maintained economic growth.
The Maltese a hardworking people, with an impressive command of English and several other foreign languages. Indeed, Malta’s educational system ranks amongst the highest in the Union and nonetheless, has a comprehensively skilled work force. The island is well connected both on a global and European level, via sea links and some 30 airlines, including the country’s national airline.
History & Geography
Malta lies some 60km south of Sicily and is conveniently located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. The islands are a geographically strategic, cultural and political stepping-stone between North Africa and Europe. Its 7,500 year history and megalithic temples give the country an antique yet sophisticated vibe. Its rich cultural history allows for travel enthusiasts to describe it as an open air museum. The island is littered with fossil-studded cliffs, hidden covers and thrilling scuba diving.
Malta savours a history of remarkable intensity. The islands have a chequered past, and many colonial influences, including Arab, Roman and English influxes. This is what makes the islands so dynamic – they are able to adapt to anything which comes their way. Malta has seen it all and yet, it is still open to new experiences.
Its favourable macro-economic environment and robust financial services industry are two factors which have given Malta its solid foundations as one of the thriving key-economies in the Union and, moreover, have been tried and tested in the global financial crisis.
The island’s major players include its tourism and hospitality industry, as well as manufacturing and igaming industries. Thanks to its willingness to welcome change and adapt in economically challenging climates, Malta’s employment rate has kept growing over the years and, in recent years, its unemployment rate has hit a record low. Indeed, Fitch Ratings has confirmed that Malta’s credit rating is A+ stable in February 2018 and, additionally, DBRS awarded Malta with an ‘A High’. Fitch, nonetheless, forecasts an 5.9% growth for the country in 2018.
The Maltese Government, presently, promotes a pro-business policy which is continuously attracting foreign capital and direct investment through various attractive incentives. The islands boast a highy-skilled work force as well as official documentation and legislation in English – making commercial transactions easy.
As a well-respected and highly regulated financial services hub, Malta has a prominent shipping register and enjoys an acclaimed status as a major jurisdiction for tax-free yacht registrations. And, due to its low-tax regime, the islands attract international trading and holding companies. 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.
Its mild climate and 300 days of sunshine are crucial elements to the easy-going and relaxed lifestyle the Maltese enjoy. People are always out and about, ravishing food and drink al fresco or strolling around its various sea towns’ promenades. The bistro and restaurant culture is at an all time high – and you’re never too far away from a sandy or rocky beach. Beaches brim with families lapping up sun and shedding their work day stress or friends enjoying a good laugh. The Maltese put family at the forefront of their priorities and, the island’s very low crime rate make it the perfect destination to relocate to – especially for families with young children.
Valletta is currently crowned the European Capital of Culture. And, beyond this, one is always spoilt for choice for cultural activities. A typical native’s calendar is choc-a-bloc with a variety of events – ranging from cultural activities, such as village feasts and carnival celebrations, as well as high-brow events such as museums, music, concerts, film-screenings and theatre outings.
One of the main business driver’s of the Maltese economy is the construction and real-estate sector. Indeed, they remain some of the most solid, safe and sought-after types of asset in Malta. Trends in the market are intricately examined – especially since they indicate which way the economy would be heading as well as indicators of wealth, private consumption and collateral.
Residential and commercial sales have increased significantly in 2017, especially when compared to previous years. The number of people employed in real estate, subsequently, has also grown in number – an advantage, especially vis-à-vis the influx of expatriates working and living in Malta. It goes without saying that demand from locals, foreigners and investors is on the rise.
The flourishing property market is not expected to slow down anytime in the near future. Property purchase can, therefore, morph into a short, medium and even long term investment. All the more alluring is the fact that, as things currently stand, property prices remain fairly reasonable.
When taking all of the above into consideration, there is no doubt that property investment is a strong opportunities for those seeking to relocate to Malta.