Amongst the smallest and most densely-populated countries in the world, Malta covers just 120 square-miles and boasts a population of 400,000. However, don’t let this put you off, Malta is an extremely attractive location to live, work and retire.
Britain and Malta have shared a long history with the legacy of English as an official language, they drive on the left, the legal system is fairly similar and the flag includes the George Cross awarded to the island for bravery during the second world war.
Combined with a great climate, good value for money, easy access and first class facilities, Brits flock to this small Mediterranean island. There are more than 5,000 UK citizens living on Malta.
Malta is a very popular place to retire and an added draw is the “Malta Retirement Plan”. This allows EU nationals who take up residency to enjoy an income-tax rate of 15%. Add the fact you can receive your UK pension in Malta and there is a first-rate healthcare system that is free to all citizens including British residents. International Living consistently place Malta has one of the best places to retire.
Malta actually comprises of three inhabited islands; Malta, Gozo and Comino. Gozo is about four miles west of Malta with Comino in between. There are frequent ferry services to both islands.
Gozo has seen an influx of tourism recently as a set for the film, By the Sea featuring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as well as a number of scenes for a Game of Thrones.
Whilst Comino is inhabited, the population stands at four and is more a tourist destination.
Malta has a typical Mediterranean climate with warm to hot summers and very mild winters. Rainfall occurs mainly in autumn and winter with summers being generally dry. Due to its location in the southern part of the Mediterranean, it has one of the best climates in the world.
Given the densely populated nature of the island, the Government has placed restrictions on property ownership. Generally, EU nationals can only buy one single property but only if they, or a family member, intend to occupy that residence. However, to encourage foreign inward investment, the Government has classified a number of Specially Designated Areas (SDA) where these restrictions do not apply.
Property prices increased by just over 10% in 2015 according to the Central Bank of Malta. Despite strong growth last year, prices have yet to recover to their pre-financial crisis levels. The general economic recovery along with a number of initiatives such as the Retirement Plan and SDA’s seem to be helping the market. Despite the drop in the value of Sterling, Maltese property still represents good value.
British buyers tend to focus the north-east of the island and the east coast down to the capital Valletta.
In the north-east there are a number of popular locations such as Qawra, Bugibba, St. Paul’s Bay, Mellieha and Manikata.
Mellieha has a fine sandy beach as well as an authentic Maltese feel and is a sought-after location. Tas-Sellum (SDA) and Manikata, on the outskirts of Mellieha, are
popular whilst Wardija and the Santa Maria Estate have some of the most expensive property on the island.
Valletta has a long history and is rich in culture. Indeed, it is due to be the European Capital of Culture in 2018 and is also a World Heritage Site. The city is essentially Baroque in character but with many added influences from the various rulers 0ver the millenia. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city.
On the southern side of the Grand Harbour lies Senglea, Birgu, Cospicua and Kalkara. These are sought after areas with Birgu, also known as the Città Vittoriosa, the most fashionable with St Angelo Mansions (SDA) sought after.
On the northern side, Sliema is extremely popular with a beautiful promenade and access to countless restaurants, cafes and bars. Here, Tigné Point (SDA) is a favourite along with the luxury development of Fort Cambridge (SDA). St. Julian’s is also a sought after area along with the new developments at Portomaso (SDA) and Pender Gardens (SDA). Madliena Village (SDA) on the outskirts of St Julian’s is another option whilst High Ridge and Bahar Ic Caghaq are more exclusive areas. Gzira is a more affordable option along with Metropolis Plaza (SDA).
Further to the south-east lies the seaside village of Marsaskala which envelops a lovely harbour. This is another affordable and sought-after place and includes the Ta’ Monita Residence (SDA).
The small peaceful, unspoilt island of Gozo is easily accessible by ferry from Malta. It has the attractions of Malta without the hustle and bustle and prices are generally more affordable. Again it has great history and has long been associated as the home of the nymph Calypso who detained Odysseus (from Homer’s Odyssee) on the island for several years.
There are a number of attractive coastal villages such as Gharb, Marsalforn in the north as well as Xlendi and Mgarr Harbour in the south. Fort Chambray (SDA) is set within an historic fort which stands guard over Mgarr Harbour. Vista Point (SDA) at Marsalforn is also popular.
• Portomaso Development, St. Julians, Malta;
• Portomaso Extension I, St Julians, Malta;
• Cottonera Development, Cottonera, Malta;
• Tigne Point, Tigne, Malta;
• Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha, Malta;
• Madliena Village Complex, Malta;
• SmartCity, Malta;
• Fort Cambridge Zone, Tignè, Malta;
• Ta’ Monita Residence, Marsascala, Malta;
• Pender Place, St. Julians, Malta;
• Metropolis Plaza, Gzira, Malta;
• Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem, Gozo;
• Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz, Gozo.