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Buying a property in Malta

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Malta's real estate market has been flourishing over the past few years. In fact, foreign nationals have become so interested in buying real estate in Malta that the market has changed dramatically in recent years. Thanks to attractive prices and low tax rates, as well as minimally restrictive provisions, expats can enjoy a relatively seamless process for buying property in Malta.

Whether you have chosen to invest in Malta, Gozo, or Comino, rest assured! You are likely to enjoy a rich, peaceful, dynamic, and friendly environment and lifestyle.

Expat-friendly regions in Malta

Malta is divided into three main islands, two of which are particularly attractive for foreigners.

Malta, which is the main island, is the country's economic and cultural centre. Some popular areas in Malta include Valletta, which is the capital city, Sliema, Saint Julian’s, Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk, Birkikara, Saint Paul’s Bay, and Mellieha.

Gozo, the second-largest island, is much less developed than Malta and holds a rich rural and cultural atmosphere. Note that Gozo is very popular with retirees, especially the capital city of Victoria, which is also known as Rabat.

Masalforn and Xlendi are other ideal regions for investing in real estate property in Gozo.

As with most real estate transactions around the world, it is best to be there in person to determine where you would prefer to invest according to your preferences.

Finding property in Malta

Searching online can be a great starting point during your property search in Malta. However, not all online listings are up-to-date, so don’t get your heart set on anything you see online.

Being in Malta makes your property search much easier as you can seek the help of a real estate agency. Make sure to list your criteria and expectations when it comes to the types of property (swimming pool, garden, proximity to schools, etc.), as well as your budget.

Feel free to visit several real estate agencies to explore even more options.

Do you need an acquisition permit?

The acquisition permit, known as the Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit (AIP), is a particular feature in real estate transactions in Malta.

Although buying a property in the country is rather easy, you should be aware of the following:

  • European nationals having lived in Malta continuously for five years have the same rights as Maltese nationals when it comes to buying a property, that is, they do not require an acquisition permit.
  • European nationals who have not lived in Malta continuously for the last five years have to request for an acquisition permit to buy a property which will be considered as their secondary residence in special designated areas (SDA).
  • Non-European nationals, regardless of the length of their stay in Malta, have to apply for an acquisition permit for both a primary and a secondary residence.

You are therefore advised to seek all relevant information from competent authorities or a reputable real estate agency.

 Useful address:

Inland Revenue

Capital Transfer Duty Department

46, Monti di Pietà Buildings, Merchants Street, Valletta

Email: capitaltransfers.ird@gov.mt

Tel: 356 2296 2296 / 356 2122 0481 / 356 2299 8000

Procedures for buying property in Malta

You will make an offer or discuss the sale price with the owner, preferably in the real estate agent's presence, following a satisfactory visit on the premises.

Thereafter, you will sign a promise of sale agreement, or Convenium (Konvenju), which is a legal document containing details of the sale, including:

  • The amount deposited, which is typically 10% of the total sale price;
  • the stamp duty amount, or property purchase tax, which is 3.5% for the first €150,000 of the property's price and 5% of the remaining value; and
  • conditions pertaining to the whole payment.

The whole transaction, as well as the title deed will be checked by a notary (so as to determine whether the property has ever been mortgaged or is bound by debts)

A final sale date will then be established (either at the bank or before the notary). You will then be able to transfer the full payment to the seller and pay the stamp tax to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, as well as any other fees to the notary or agent.

Regarding agency fees, these are shared both by the buyer and the seller and amount to about 5% of the property's value. You also have to pay notary fees, which start at 1% of the property's total value.

 Useful links:

Housing Authority
Inland Revenue Authority
Government of Malta – Buying property in Malta

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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See also

Sliema has become a popular area for expats looking fro accommodation in Malta, which has driven up prices, though they remain affordable.
If you wish to relocate in a rural environment with a rich natural landscape, Gozo can be the ideal destination, providing a range of accommodation.
Being Malta's economic and cultural center, Valletta is popular with expats looking for accommodation in the island nation.
Expats moving to Malta will find a range of accommodation available, although prices have been rising. Online prices may differ from the actual price.

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