Property Buying In Malta


Think Southern Europe these days and property and bank collapse, austerity and unemployment tend to be front of mind. Yet for one small island, this stereotype clearly doesn’t fit and this is reflected in the growing interest shown by buyers of both residential and commercial property in Malta.

Despite few natural resources, English speaking Malta has ridden the waves of European recession much like it does the pure blue seas that lap around its beaches and rocky shores.

A tangible reflection of the country’s thriving economy was the decision by its Government, to underwrite the European bail out of Spain by 100 million euros.

At a recent series of investment seminars held at the Malta High Commission in London speakers explained that Malta had no council tax, no wealth tax and no inheritance tax. Many companies relocating also benefit from generous tax concessions. High levels of language and technical literacy backed up by good communications and IT infrastructure also play their part in the success of the economy.

One of the event highlights was the public unveiling of the new Malta Government tax dispensation for higher paid British retirees which sees them paying a maximum of 15% income tax.

Less wealthy pensioners are unaffected and can continue to retire to Malta with little restriction and bureaucracy as they have done for decades – without any council tax.

"Of course Malta has felt the backlash of the Euros plight, but the effects have been on the margins" explains Ray Woods of UK based company

He continued,

"Conservative bank lending by its' local banks prior to the US and European economic crisis left their balance sheets in good shape, able to support healthy consumer, property and commercial sectors. The property sector in turn was underpinned by strong local consumer demand and an increasingly cosmopolitan expatriate population.

Expats have been a major force in driving demand in the rental sector pushing up returns and boosting investment property sales.

In an increasingly diversified economy there has been a shift towards younger working professionals attracted by its business friendly culture and a non-punitive tax regime for both individuals and companies.

Demand for good quality commercial property is supplementing and running alongside that for residential. We have seen a definite trend for expats to desert countries like Cyprus, France and Spain as austerity bites and tax increases take effect.”

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