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Buying Property in Malta

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With its sunshine, history and English-speaking native, small wonder many visitors to these islands end up looking to buy a home. Buyers can choose from traditional limestone houses over 100 year old, many with a garden and a pool, or sleek modern apartments close to the sea. Not that lack of a garden is a problem, and the resourceful Maltese often build rooftop gardens, where you can sit back and relax and admire the view!

As with any decision to buy abroad, it pays to take the time to explore the different areas of the islands, and perhaps stay in a couple out of season to see if they have the same feel in December as July! Then, it’s best to go through an established estate agent, as their international web sites allow you to browse what’s on offer before you visit. They will usually arrange accommodation for you if they know you are a serious buyer, and help with all the paperwork and permits required.

Now that Malta has joined the EU, buying is much easier for any citizen from an EU member state. If you are moving to Malta permanently, you do not require a permit to purchase. If you are buying a holiday home, you will need to apply for a permit from the Ministry of Finance, which allows only you and your family to use the property, and only own one property at any one time. If you intend to let your property, you will need a letting license from the Maltese Tourist Authority.

Once you’ve found your dream property, an initial agreement is signed between vendor and purchaser. (Whilst this is binding, the final agreement is still subject to satisfactory establishment of clear title and any permits to purchase required.) Once this initial agreement (written in English) is signed, a 10% deposit is due, plus 1% of the stamp duty due, and the parties have three months to compete the deal. The balance of the amount due, legal expenses and stamp duty is payable on the signing of the final contract of sale. Then all you have to do is collect the keys!

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