Destination Malta

Malta has been described in many ways within the international property market scene, but one of my favorite is "Europe's best kept secret". Malta is just a small Island in the middle of the Mediterranean, blessed with gorgeous weather all year round and surrounded by crystal clear seas. The population of just over 400,000 is renowned for being friendly and welcoming and in fact the Maltese have been voted the happiest people in the world. So how come so many people have never even heard of Malta and what makes Malta such a special destination?

The answer to the first question is simple. Malta does not have the marketing budget of larger counties and therefore does not have the same marketing presence as all of the other European countries.

I could write pages about the second question, but I shall focus on the property angle. I think that one of Malta's greatest attractions is its lifestyle. Malta is steeped in history boasting some of the oldest temples in the world and has been through centuries of foreign occupation. As a result, many architectural influences are still very evident with, for example, many 16th century buildings from the time of the occupation of the Knights of St John still standing. But equally important, Malta enjoys an incredible culture that is rich and ingrained into the Maltese people's way of life.

English and Maltese are the two official languages and both are spoken fluently. The Maltese love to eat out and the quality of cuisine is excellent. There is a heavy Mediterranean influence of course with fresh fish and simply cooked meats being very popular but there is no shortage of variety. The health services are amongst the best in the world with Malta's new public hospital - Mater Dei - offering a level of health care comparable with the best private hospitals. Flying in and out of Malta is easy with several daily flights to all European destinations as well as facilities for private jets. The boating scene is very active with several marinas all offering good quality facilities at very reasonable rates. And of course, there is a very active night life and a continuous stream of cultural events ranging from theatre to pop concerts. Due to mild climate, outdoor activities are the norm and the weather allows you to plan well ahead.

Apart from the lifestyle however, Malta also offers an excellent choice of properties, varying in styles from modern seafront apartments which are found in the more cosmopolitan areas like Sliema and St Julians, villas and bungalows and also the very popular converted farmhouses and Palazzos normally found in the more rural areas or within the older towns and villages. The quality of finishes offered has improved tremendously in the last decade and most Maltese properties are spacious and full of natural air and light. Due to the limited supply and a number of other factors, the prices have always shown an upward trend, and even in the recent economic climate, properties have held their values. In fact, property has always been considered an excellent investment which has been further compounded by the consistent rental returns that have been experienced over the last few years.

One other major attraction for foreigners to buy property in Malta or to move their businesses to Malta is the very advantageous tax regime and the variety of tax incentives offered. Malta is not a tax haven and yet it offers schemes that are extremely attractive both on a personal level as well as from a corporate level. Malta has weathered the recent economic storm very well and has not experienced any of the banking crises experienced elsewhere in Europe.

Combining all of the above makes Malta a great place to live and own property in and one of the most attractive destinations in the Mediterranean. Come and find out for yourself!