Malta has a whole lot going for it but has largely remained beneath the property investor’s radar, something that is set to change on the back of rapidly improving fundamentals.
The tiny Mediterranean island offers world-class standards of service and infrastructure, a wealth of historical and architectural treasures (including nine UNESCO World Heritage sites), championship golf courses and plenty of year-round sunshine.
Due to Malta’s history as a British colony the locals all speak fluent English, making this an attractive retirement destination, notably for Americans. An already-strong tourist market is set for growth as airlines add more direct flights to Malta in 2015, adding to consistently rising demand for holiday accommodation.
Malta consistently ranks among the top five providers of healthcare by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the island has one of the lowest crime rates to be found anywhere, both factors that appeal to property investors taking a long-term view.
Since its introduction towards the end of 2013, Malta’s Individual Investor Program (IIP), which offers a route to EU citizenship to individuals and their families, has attracted over 400 applicants from more than 40 countries, generating revenues of €450m. Demand for Maltese real estate is growing rapidly with a dynamic that provides property investors opportunities to capitalise on demand from both tourist and domestic renters or the buoyant re-sale market.
In January Edward Scicluna, Malta’s finance minister announced a number of tax measures in the 2015 budget speech aimed at stimulating the property market including: the further reduction in the personal rates of income tax; the extension of the exemption from stamp duty on the first €150,000 of the property’s value for first-time buyers up to 30th June 2015; the abolition of the option of income tax on capital gains at the normal income tax rates up to 35% upon transfers of immovable property and the reduction of the final property transfer tax to 5%, 8% or 10% from 12% depending on various criteria.
As Malta’s economy has experienced recovery at a faster pace than others in the Eurozone, its property is slightly more expensive than can be found in Spain for example. However, with growth expectations being higher for 2015 than other Eurozone counterparts, there is still ample margin for excellent returns on property investments.
Source:: Property show rooms