Buying a property in Malta to use part-time. How viable?

I'm starting to look into purchasing a property in Malta to be used by me on a part-time basis (initially) although possibly more permanent at a later date. I currently live in Ireland, but have visited Malta a few times (based in Sliema) and know I'd like to get a more permanent base established there, plus I think it should be easy enough to rent out (perhaps via AirBnB) and that would help pay off the mortgage.

Basically I want somewhere I can get away for a few months at a time, potentially longer, depending on the sort of remote-working contracts I secure. Not too interested in renting properties as I feel that's wasted money that would be better going toward a mortgage.

So my questions are:
- Are there good companies that can manage my property and rent it out via AirBnB while I'm not there?

- What sort of property would be easiest to rent? (I only need a 1-bed apartment as minimum although would prefer a 2-bed as I can make it into an office)

- Whereabouts? I'd like to be as close to Sliema or St Julian's area as much as possible as the main attraction for me would be access to the sea, plus near to the high-rental areas (if I decide to rent it out longterm).

- Are there any penalties or fees for owning a property like this and leaving it vacant?

- Should I look at old or new builds? I've heard some issues related to the construction quality, but I don't mind as long as the place doesn't collapse around me!

- Is now a good time to buy or prices fairly high?

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