Malta Property Overview

Property boom in Malta
Malta’s housing construction and property prices rose sharply between 2003 and 2004, recording a 20.3% and 13.3% rise in prices, respectively, after the 2003 referendum voted to join the European Union on 1 January. 2004 year.

Located in southern Europe, off the coast of Sicily, real estate in Malta, which consists of seven islands in an archipelago with a population of 400,000 inhabitants, has long attracted foreign citizens. This is due not only to Malta’s intense Mediterranean climate, but also to the country’s tax-efficient status; Maltese residents enjoy one of the lowest income tax rates in Europe.

Property demand in Malta
But international demand for homes in Malta, which mainly comes from the UK and Scandinavia, has declined over the past year or so. This is especially true for “British buyers”, mainly due to the “falling value of the British pound” against the euro and the Maltese lira, says Paul Hay of Malta Homes. The fall in the pound sterling has significantly increased the cost of buying property in Malta.

Although property prices fell, the decline was nowhere near as sharp as in most other European markets, “Haye adds. However, domestic demand for homes in Malta has been” remarkably robust, “said James Vassallo, senior manager at Tigne Point Property Development. …

Vassallo continues: “The decline in interest rates prompted those behind the fence to take up [in housing transactions] and made these occasional deals a lot more attractive. “

Property prices in Malta begin to stabilize
While home values ​​are still falling in some regions, they have already stabilized in other regions, mainly because the majority of property owners in Malta do not have the same high level of leveraged funds as those in the UK say.

Despite a short-term slowdown in market growth, Malta’s real estate sector could be strong in the medium to long term, fueled by an increasing level of tourism and an ever-increasing number of low-cost airlines.

Homes in Malta fly high
In 2008 EasyJet, Ryanair and Scandinavian Airlines either opened or increased their direct flights from the UK and Sweden to Malta.

Vassallo adds: “The increase in air traffic is definitely good for the island, especially during these difficult times. Malta is strategically located between west and east and the growing importance of North Africa. It attracts companies looking to relocate to the Mediterranean and the years of business travel have grown steadily. “

Investment property rental in Malta
While foreign demand for homes in Malta may have fallen, Hay says the rise in tourism is pushing demand for vacation home rentals in Malta.

“In terms of vacation time, 2009 looks like a healthy year when you take into account the global economic situation,” says Haye. In fact, Air Malta recorded one of the most successful flight occupancy rates in the first quarter of 2009 in several years. … “

Vassallo says some of the best rental results, albeit at a relatively low yield of around 4%, can be achieved by buying properties in Sliema, real estate in St Julian’s, real estate in Valletta and real estate in St Paul’s Bay.

However, it costs nothing that any foreigner wishing to rent out their home in Malta would have to register their property with the Hotel and Catering Board and it can only be rented out on a short-term lease.

In addition, non-citizens can only purchase one property in Malta and generally only for owner residence, unless they purchase property in a “Designated Area (SDA)” which allows them to buy property in Tigne Point, property in Portomaso , real estate in Manoel Island, property in Shaumbra and property in Cottoenre.

Maltese properties located in the SDA do not face some of the stringent restrictions imposed on foreigners who would otherwise wish to rent their homes in Malta.

Residence permit in Malta
One way to overcome the restrictions imposed on foreign nationals is to become a resident of Malta, which will also provide average earnings with a real opportunity to cut their tax bills.

Malta does not levy capital gains tax on the sale of real estate after three years of ownership, but any local or foreign income earned in Malta is taxed at a rate of up to 35%. However, residents can take advantage of the Maltese Residence Scheme, which charges a flat tax rate of 15 percent with a minimum tax liability of € 4,200 (£ 3,630).

To be eligible to reside in Malta, Mark Hollingsworth of Hollingsworth International explains that an individual must own assets of at least € 350,000 (£ 303,000) or earn an annual income of approximately € 23,500 (GBP). 20,400) outside Malta.

Foreigners moving to Malta must “transfer a minimum of € 13,950 (£ 12) plus € 2,300 (£ 2,000) for each dependent [country’s authorities], not to engage in any commercial activity in Malta, as well as to buy or rent property in Malta. A minimum of € 116,000 (£ 100,000) will need to be spent on the purchase of a house or € 69,000 (£ 60,000) paid for an apartment, otherwise the annual rent will be at least € 4,150 (£ 3,600). spent on renting out the house. “

The process of buying property in Malta
Anyone who actually goes to buy property in Malta will find the buying process fairly straightforward. The country’s legal purchasing system provides a relatively safe shopping environment.

Acts are submitted after the completion of a property purchase, and legally binding contracts are presented in English.

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