Buying a property in Malta can be daunting for expats. You don’t know the rules, how it’s done, what’s acceptable and what to expect. This guide will help you to understand the process and how to protect yourself when buying a property in Malta.
Why buy property in Malta
• Safe and secure country
• Excellent living standards
• Open door to the European Union
• Low taxation rates
• Warm Mediterranean climate
• Top-performing real estate market with consistent capital growth
• Vast selection of properties
• Get the Maltese passport after buying property in a year
Where to purchase property in Malta?
Malta consists of three inhabited islands (Malta, Gozo, and Comino). Where to buy Republic of Malta real estate depends largely on your lifestyle preferences, and whether you prefer city life or more peace and quiet.
In general, you have two options for buying Malta real estate for sale: buy a property by itself or under the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program. To qualify for the Citizenship by Investment program, you must make a Malta real estate investment worth at least €350,000.
Best cities to buy property in Malta
Some of the best cities to buy property in Malta include Sliema, St. Julian’s, and Gzira. These cities are renowned for the range of restaurants, nightlife, shopping places on offer, as well as stunning seaside lookout points.
Valletta and Mdina are also good cities to buy homes in, as they boast beautiful architecture, a rich culture, and offer a more fast-paced lifestyle.
If you’re into laidback country style life, then either Zebbug, Rabat, or Gozo are good options. Here you can escape from the city noise and relax in a traditional village atmosphere.
Requirements for buying property
Non-residents can easily buy property in Malta, provided they obtain an AIP permit. A fee of €233 is charged per permit, (subject to change at the government’s discretion), with the permit usually being issued within 35 days.
An AIP permit is not needed to buy properties in Special Designated Areas and, in the case of EU citizens who:
Have been resident in Malta continuously for five years
Want to buy property to live in
Want to purchase property for investment purposes
Furthermore, foreign nationals and EU citizens can only buy one property in Malta, usually for owner-occupancy purposes, but can purchase more properties in the ‘Special Designated Areas’.
Malta property for rent
Malta property for rent is possible under certain conditions. Property owned by foreigners can be rented out only if the property is valued over €233,000, has a swimming pool, and is registered with the Hotel and Catering Establishments Board. Foreign-owned properties can only be rented out for short-term lease agreements.
Buy property in Special Designated Areas
There are various Malta luxury real estate for sale. These luxury developments come complete with porters and a reception area, pools, and parking facilities that have been built in prime locations over the Maltese islands. These Malta luxury real estate for sale fall under the ‘Special Designated Areas’ and as such, you aren’t subjected to any restrictions, nor do you need an AIP permit. A key advantage of buying a property in this area is that it gives you the same rights as a Maltese national, no matter if you’re an EU citizen or not.
The current special designated areas are:
Portomaso Development, St. Julians, Malta
Tigné Point, Tigné, Malta
Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha, Malta
Madliena Village Complex, Malta
Fort Cambridge Zone, Tignè, Malta
Ta’ Monita Residence, Marsascala, Malta
Pendergardens, St. Julians, Malta
St Angelo Mansions, Vittoriosa
Vista Point, Marsalforn, Gozo
Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem, Gozo
Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz, Gozo
Tax on buying property in Malta
Normally, buyers must pay some kind of tax on buying property in Malta. Purchasers usually pay a 5% stamp duty during the property transfer. 1% is paid on the promise of sale agreement, while the remaining 4% is paid during the final deed of the transfer. Note that for Maltese and EU citizens who were resident in Malta for a continuous 5 years, they are entitled to a reduction in the rate of stamp duty from 5% to 3.5% on the first €150,000 of the property acquisition fee.
Buy property via Malta Citizenship by Investment
If you’re a foreign national and thinking of relocating to Malta, then there are a number of visa programs available to you. Malta’s Individual Investor Programme, also known as the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program, rewards investors with passports in exchange for making a qualifying investment in the nation.
The investor must invest in government bonds, the Maltese National Development and Social Fund, and real estate, totaling the value of or above €1,100,000. From that amount, you must contribute a minimum of €350,000 in a Malta real estate investment, and must maintain the Maltese property for at least 5 years.
Malta passport benefits
There are many advantages to having a Malta passport, including financial and personal stability, global mobility, immediate access to the EU, and the right to work, live and study anywhere in the continent.
The tax system is particularly advantageous to foreigners with residential status, as such individuals are not taxed on foreign-sourced capital gains and foreign-sourced income.
Malta real estate transaction costs
5% stamp duty (currently 2% for Gozo until end of 2019)
1% to 3% notarial fee
€600 searches and registration fees
€233 AIP permit fee (where applicable)
Process of buying property
• The first thing you should do is to hire a notary and possibly a lawyer who practices property law. Then you can start looking for a property in Malta that meets your unique needs.
• The next step is to negotiate the contract details with the seller until you obtain a written contract called a Konvenju or a ‘promise of sale’.
• Pay the deposit fee and the first fifth of the stamp duty, which is like a tax on buying property in Malta, (1% of the agreed purchase price.)
• Your notary should conduct all searches to ensure the property has a legal title.
• Apply for a bank loan if needed
• Once all conditions are met, a final agreement is drafted and agreed upon by both parties
• The price is paid and the buyer can get the keys.
• The seller pays taxes she owes from selling property.
Why not speak to one of our real estate specialists about purchasing property in Malta?
We are a boutique investment firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship-by-investment solutions for international families. At Prime Land Ventures, we can simplify access to property investments, provide local insights, help with legal assistance, tax planning, and more—all while ensuring efficient, personalized, and confidential service