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What you need to know about buying property in Malta as a foreigner

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Since Malta became a member of the European Union, most restrictions on foreign buyers have been relaxed, especially for those hailing from other EU countries. Still, there are a few things to bear in mind.

When you identify a property that suits your needs, the first step would be to sign a preliminary contract, get a certificate and pay 10% of the agreed property price as deposit. Once a preliminary contract is signed and a deposit paid, you would have committed yourself to the purchase.

Conditions for Property Purchase

Citizens of all European Union member states who have resided in Malta continuously for a minimum period of five years at any time preceding the date of acquisition, may freely acquire immovable property without the necessity of obtaining a permit.
Citizens of all European Union member states, who have not resided continuously in Malta for a minimum period of five years, may only purchase their primary residence or any immovable property required for their business activities or supply of services without the necessity of obtaining a permit. If you have not been living in Malta for the minimum period of five years, you do require a permit to acquire immovable property for secondary residence purposes.

Individuals who are not citizens of a European Member state may not acquire any immovable property unless they are granted a permit.

Residents Scheme Regulations

The Scheme is regulated by the Residents Scheme Regulations, 2004. An individual who satisfies the conditions stipulated under the scheme will be provided with a certificate issued by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue that entitles him/her to the benefits of the scheme.
For more information about the Residents Scheme Regulations, check out our partners WDM and ACT.

As an international buyer, you will have to follow some extra conditions once you have your certificate

The holder will be required to take up residence by not later than one year from the issue date of the certificate. The holder has to complete a prescribed document which has to be presented together with identification documents to the Department of Inland Revenue, Expatriates Division, within 15 days of arriving in Malta.

Where to buy

Malta’s capital, Valletta, offers a wealth of history, but may perhaps be classed as a little too business-like for most buyers. If you are after more bustling areas, you should try Sliema or St. Julian’s. These coastal destinations are Malta’s main resort towns and have a wide choice of entertainment places and activities.

Apart from all the resorts, there are many small villages, close to beaches and set more rurally, which are not prone to crowds in the high season months.

Special Designated Areas

There are defined zones in Malta, referred to as special designated areas, where there are absolutely no restrictions to acquisition. There is also no restriction on acquisition through inheritance and there are also several other special exemptions. Different rules apply to the acquisition by bodies of persons. The following areas are selected as special designated areas:

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;
Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem, Gozo;
Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz, Gozo.


Buying property can be tricky, especially abroad. We  hope this information will help make it a little clearer for you. Contact the team at Dhalia Real Estate Services, who have all the expertise to guide you and help you find your perfect property in Malta. 


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