Alongside your usual names of London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo and Sydney, you’ll find a second tier of must-target real estate acquisitions. Malta is a consistent and regular contender in this group, gaining a reputation (like all property competitors) for its eyebrow-raising prices, now for well over a decade. Even during the global financial crisis of 2007-08, Malta’s property market remained stable.
Malta Property Market
One reason for the robust nature of the industry is the active government schemes in place, which are supported by strong legislative and regulatory frameworks, including all the EU Directives transposed into Malta’s laws. Malta’s hard-won EU ties, which continue to strengthen, reveals the nation’s pragmatic approach to its place in the EU and desire to remain part of the Union into the future.
With a strategic location in Europe plus close ties to North Africa and the Middle East, Malta’s multicultural composition makes it a perfect match for anyone looking to add a unique property to their collection.
Second highest increase in the EU
Buying property in Malta is a win-win situation, especially when the robust market is taken into consideration. Not only are there favourable tax benefits and resilient labour market conditions (with an increase in foreign workers) but also a vigorous growth in disposable income, which contributes to a steady increase in the archipelago’s property prices. Since the global financial crisis, the property market in Malta has gone from strength to strength, with 2017 being one of its best years.
In April 2020, Eurostat reported property prices in Malta enjoyed one of the highest Q2 increases across the EU, with prices of houses going up by 3.5%.
Property values in Malta have always been robust, with market values not dropping even in the face of COVID-19. The pandemic made people acutely aware of how their property is a vital investment. Another side-effect of the virus worth noting is the rise in popularity of homes with panoramic views, besides those with gardens, terraces, and swimming pools.
How easy is it for non-Maltese to buy property?
Very easy. Overseas buyers will find a simple buying system in Malta, in addition to straightforward legal processes. Contracts are in English, title security is guaranteed, and property transfers are binding.
Can I apply for citizenship though investment?
Yes. You can apply for Maltese citizenship through investment through buying property worth a minimum of €320,000, plus you’re required to purchase government bonds or securities worth €150,000. Alternatively, you could rent a home for a minimum of €12,000 per year.
Obviously, the Maltese government doesn’t just hand out citizenships to anyone who can afford them. Certain criteria apply, plus a screening process is in place, which includes an assessment of the wealth being used by the applicant, who must also be certified as being in good health and free of any communicable diseases.
Do I need to get an AIP permit?
It depends on what country you’re coming from. You don’t need an Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) permit if you are an EU citizen who has been in Malta for a minimum of five continuous years. Neither do you need an AIP if you’re an EU citizen who wishes to buy property to serve as your primary residence, or if you intend to purchase property purely for investment.
For third country, non-EU nationals looking to secure citizenship in Malta through investment, be sure to read our Malta Residency By Investment Programme webpage.
EU nationals doing business in Malta are exempt from needing the AIP, they just need to declare in the purchase contract what their intentions are for the property, which also applies if the purchasing property for use as a rental investment.
If you’re an EU citizen who hasn’t clocked up five years in Malta, you can apply for an AIP permit at the Malta Commission for Revenue. The process typically takes six to seven weeks.
EU and non-EU citizens alike can purchase property in Special Designated Areas (SDA)s may without needing an AIP permit.
Which are the current SDAs in Malta?
Current SDAs in Malta include Portomaso Development, St. Julian’s; Portomaso Extension I, St Julian’s; Cottonera Development, Cottonera; Manoel Island/Tigne Point, Tigne/Gzira; Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha; Madliena Village Complex; Smartcity; Fort Cambridge Zone, Tignè; Ta’ Monita Residence, Marsascala, Pender Place and Mercury House Site, Extensions I, II, III, IV and V; Metropolis Plaza, Gzira. Quad Business Towers, Mrieħel; Southridge, Mellieħa; and Mistra heights.
SDAs in Gozo are Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem; Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz; and Vista Point, Marsalforn.