Malta is an island with a wonderful climate, a fascinating history, a low crime rate, excellent health care, friendly locals, a happening social life and an above average standard of living. A member of the European Union since 2004, the country has adopted the single currency in 2008 and is able to offer new residents an attractive flat rate of income tax of 15 per cent after double taxation relief, a pleasant surprise to the set visiting Malta. Malta’s tax legislation provides for relief from double taxation, through negotiated double tax agreements or through unilateral provisions, making the country an attractive location for international trading, holding and finance operations.
The country’s strong leadership and favourable international relations inspire a great deal of confidence among investors, expatriates and holidaymakers alike and appeals to foreigners looking for a destination for: a career move for higher income: relocating a business: tax benefits or retirement.
Malta is accessible from most European airports relatively inexpensively with direct flights operating on a daily basis from a number of destinations. European citizens do not require visas to enter Malta and the country’s internal transportation system is well developed, ensuring easy movement within the island.
Malta’s economy is bolstered by tourism, however the shipping, financial services and electronics industries are also very strong. While Malta’s tourism industry continues to grow, opportunities arise for investors who want to cater to the holidaymaking crowd with buy-to-let purchases. Rental yields are estimated in the moderate 6% range in many Maltese holidaymaking destinations.
Unlike other Mediterranean areas, the widespread use of the English language by the locals makes for a wholesome integration of new settlers in Malta. There are no enclaves for a particular nationality everybody mixes with the local population. It is not hard to see why Malta has become so popular and over the years a steady stream of people has chosen to retire or buy a holiday home on the Maltese shores.
The greatest investment in real estate in Malta has always been medium to long term capital appreciation, which over the years has increased at an average of 8% per annum. Due to recent global economic downturns, prices are now leveling out resulting in a ‘buyers market’ with more developers offering increasingly favourable packages to property seekers. The demand for properties to buy and to rent in Malta is still very healthy and the sales of property, from elegantly restored farmhouses to chic apartments are already back on the rise. Many foreign buyers select apartments in luxury developments built to the highest standards. These luxury developments are invariably located in the most exclusive areas of the island and offer a comprehensive range of facilities from home security to health and leisure facilities and also the opportunity of socialising within the community itself. Others fall for the charm of the converted houses of character.
Buying a property in Malta is simple. Malta’s legal system is based on English common law. Although some restrictions exist for foreigners purchasing property in abundance there are a number of specially designated areas where foreigners can purchase, more than one property for buy-to-live, buy-to-rent and resale returns.
The island offers international firms an excellent services and communications infrastructure and offers the benefits of an exemplary regulatory environment and a network of double taxation agreements with some 50 countries. Malta is an EU country with a stable government, a good tax system, excellent infrastructure, a skilled workforce of English-speaking locals and enviable quality of life and an agreeable Mediterranean climate. Add the convenience of proximity that comes with living on a small island and the leisure activities available and it is not hard to understand why Malta is such an attractive place in which to live and work. Owning a piece of Malta can ensure you own a piece of history and an asset that can make a steady and consistent gain.