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A Comprehensive Guide to Buying Real Estate in Malta: Everything You Need to Know

Are you considering investing in real estate in Malta? As one of the Mediterranean's most sought-after destinations, Malta offers a diverse array of residential properties that appeal to both locals and international buyers.

Whether you're seeking a holiday home, a retirement retreat, or an investment opportunity, navigating the process of purchasing property in Malta requires a clear understanding of the buying procedure, legal requirements, and associated expenses.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to make an informed decision about buying real estate in Malta.

Browsing Properties and Getting Assistance

To kickstart your property search journey, we recommend browsing through the selection of properties listed on our Malta real estate website.

While these listings provide a glimpse into the available properties, it's essential to reach out to experienced real estate agents for further assistance and access to comprehensive property lists tailored to your preferences and budget.

Feel free to contact us by phone, email (, or by scheduling an in-office visit here in Malta.

Property Buying Procedure

Once you've identified properties of interest, understanding the buying procedure is crucial for a smooth transaction. In Malta, the property buying process involves several key steps:

1. Preliminary Agreement: Upon selecting a property, you'll sign a preliminary agreement and deposit a sum equivalent to 10% of the purchase price with the agent or notary public as stakeholder. This agreement is typically valid for three months or as mutually agreed by the parties.

2. Research and Permit Application: During the interim period, a Notary Public engaged by the purchaser conducts research on the property to confirm clear title and submits the application for a permit to purchase, if necessary, to the Ministry of Finance.

3. Final Deed of Sale: Upon issuance of the permit and confirmation of clear title, the final contract of sale is entered into, and the deed of sale is drawn by the purchaser's Notary. The balance of the purchase price, stamp duty, and legal expenses are paid upon signing the contract, and vacant possession of the property is handed to the purchaser.

Expenses Associated with Property Acquisition

It's essential to budget for the various expenses related to acquiring property in Malta, including: - 5% stamp duty

- Approximately 1% notarial fee

- Title searches and registration fees (approximately €600)

- AIP permit fee (where applicable, approximately €233)

These costs are the responsibility of the purchaser, while agency fees are typically borne by the vendor.

Property Options

Malta and Gozo boast a wide range of properties across the islands, catering to diverse preferences and needs. The Inner Harbour region, including popular areas like St Julian’s, Sliema, and Msida, are ideal for those working in Malta and seeking a vibrant urban lifestyle. Alternatively, inland, western, and southern Malta offer a more tranquil environment, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Gozo, with its picturesque landscapes and serene ambiance, is a popular choice for holiday breaks and retirement.

Property Types

There is a range of property types available for you to consider, depending on your lifestyle, budget, and preferences. Whether you prefer a charming historic property or a modern one with all conveniences, there are several options to suit your needs.
  • Apartments:

    Malta's thriving real estate market offers a plethora of apartment options, whether you prefer purchasing a finished unit or one still in development. Budget and personal taste play significant roles in your decision-making process. Finished apartments provide convenience and immediate occupancy, while purchasing off-plan often offers better introductory prices and customization opportunities.

  • Maisonettes:

    Maisonettes, boasting independent entrances within larger properties, are another popular choice. Whether duplex or standalone, these properties often include roof access and may feature small yards or gardens, providing a blend of urban and suburban living.

  • Penthouses:

    Situated atop buildings, penthouses stand out for their luxury finishes and spacious terraces, perfect for entertaining or enjoying Malta's picturesque views and favorable weather conditions.

  • Villas, Bungalows, and Terraced Houses:

    Villas and bungalows, ranging from classic to contemporary designs, offer spacious layouts across one or two floors. Often featuring gardens, swimming pools, and upscale amenities, these properties provide a luxurious lifestyle in serene surroundings. Terraced houses, typically split over two levels with front porches and gardens, offer a blend of traditional charm and modern comfort.

  • Period Houses:

    Houses of Character and Townhouses showcase Malta's rich architectural heritage, boasting original features like stone arches and patterned tiles. These properties, often converted to modern standards, offer unique character and historical charm, making them highly sought after.
Feel free to browse currently available rental units with pictures and prices on our website.

Localities in Malta

Malta, the main island in an archipelago including Gozo, Comino, and Cominotto, is divided into six districts. Gozo, accessible by regular ferry service, is smaller and less populated than Malta.

  • Southern Harbour:

    The Southern Harbour district encompasses historic cities like Valletta, Floriana, Paola, Birgu, Fgura, and Luqa. Valletta, Malta's capital founded in 1566, was named the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018. It boasts significant historical landmarks and modern amenities, making property investment here highly desirable.

  • Historic Cities:

    Consider exploring the walled cities of Vittoriosa (Birgu), Senglea (Isla), and Cospicua (Bormla) for their rich history and cultural events. These cities, central to historical events, offer unique properties sought after by many.

  • Northern Harbour:

    The Northern Harbour, despite being the smallest district, houses the largest population and is known for its urban and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Sliema, Gzira, St Julian’s, Pieta’, and Birkirkara are key areas with diverse residential and business opportunities.

  • North Malta:

    For a more relaxed lifestyle, explore the Northern part of Malta, known for its beautiful sandy beaches and laid-back atmosphere. Places like Mellieha, with its popular Ghadira Bay, offer a wide range of properties amidst serene surroundings.

  • Gozo:

    Gozo, Malta's sister island, attracts those seeking a peaceful lifestyle. With its lush greenery, untouched beaches, and tranquil coves, Gozo offers a serene retreat away from the hustle and bustle of Malta.

Conditions for Buying Property

Non-residents can freely purchase property in Malta, subject to obtaining an Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) permit if required. Certain exemptions apply for EU citizens, such as those who have been resident in Malta for at least five continuous years or intend to purchase property for primary residence or investment purposes.

What are SDA properties?

Malta Special Designated Areas (SDAs) encompass a select group of locations across the islands that offer unique opportunities for property investment and residency. Properties in these areas are characterized by their exceptional quality, strategic locations, high security, luxury finishes, and premium amenities, making them highly sought-after by both local and international buyers.

Typically, Special Designated Area (SDA) properties don't require an Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) permit, streamlining the purchase process significantly. Furthermore, these properties often qualify for preferential tax rates when rented out, presenting investors with a lucrative avenue for generating rental income. There is no restriction on the number of SDA properties an investor may acquire.

We can assist with the following Malta SDA properties. Contact us for brochures and a current price list:

  • Gozo, Fort Chambray
  • Gozo, Kempinski Residences
  • Gozo, Vista Point
  • Gzira, Metropolis M-Towers
  • Kalkara, The Shoreline Residences
  • Madliena, Medliena Village
  • Manoel Island
  • Marsascala, Ta’ Monita Residence
  • Mellieha, Southridge
  • Mellieha, Tas-Sellum Residence
  • Mriehel, Quad Business Towers
  • Naxxar, Targa square
  • Rabat, Verdala terraces
  • Sliema, Fort Cambridge
  • Sliema, Fortina apartments
  • Sliema, Tigne Point Residence
  • St Julian’s, Mercury Suites
  • St Julian’s, Mercury Towers
  • St Julian’s, Pender Gardens
  • St Julian’s, Portomaso Laguna
  • St Julian's, Ora Residences
  • St Julian’s, Portomaso Development.
  • Vittoriosa (Cottonera), St Angelo Mansions
  • Xemxija, Mistra Heights

Acquisition of Property by Groups and Entities

Special considerations apply for bodies of persons and commercial partnerships established in EU member states, as well as other entities seeking to acquire property in Malta. Permits may be required, depending on the nature of the entity and the intended use of the property.

Mortgage Facilities

For buyers seeking financing, mortgage facilities are available from banks in Malta, subject to residency/citizenship status and collateral availability. Please note that loans are usually not available to applicants under the Malta Permanent residence Programme (MPRP) or the Malta Malta Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Regulations, Malta’s citizenship by investment program, as applicants usually have no collateral in Malta to secure these loans, and the general purpose of these programs is to bring new capital into the country.

Please also refer to our previous newsletter “Malta (EU) Citizenship Investment Strategy” in which we discuss potential strategy for using Malta real estate investments to offset the costs associated with applying for permanent residency or citizenship.

In summary, buying real estate in Malta offers an exciting opportunity to invest in a vibrant and dynamic market. By familiarizing yourself with the buying procedure, legal requirements, and associated expenses, you can navigate the process with confidence and secure your dream property in this picturesque Mediterranean paradise.

For personalized assistance and expert guidance throughout your property buying journey, or to receive a copy of our Malta Real Estate Services brochure, feel free to contact us – we appreciate the opportunity to be of service.

Because immigration by investment programs can change over time please contact us to speak with an advisor or to receive a preliminary quotation. The information provided in this blog post is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice.

Click here for the Malta citizenship by investment program. Click here for the Malta residency programs.

To start the application process online please register here.

For a detailed cost estimate or to schedule a confidential consultation please use our contact form.

Zenturo Ltd.

Residency & Citizenship by Investment Programs Worldwide

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Santa Venera, SVR 1016

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