What is the procedure to buy an immovable property in Malta for a foreign national?
Malta is a very friendly country that boasts an amazing social life, a pleasant climate all-year-round and a wonderful crystal-clear sea along with a great historic and cultural heritage. Malta is characterised also by a great political stability and is known as a safe country to live in.
The economic recession has been minimal in Malta. Real estate investments in the country have granted considerable returns. Malta is confirming itself as the ideal place to make sound value-for-money long-term investments.
The Maltese real estate market offers a wide range of properties for sale and for rent both in the residential and commercial sector. The real estate offer in Malta comprises luxury villas and bungalows, apartments and flats located in first-rate residential areas, luxury developments, farmhouses, terraced houses, traditional houses of character and period residences with frescoed valted ceilings, maisonettes, penthouses and properties in shell form, warehouses, plots of land, retail outlets, offices and business premises.
The process to buy a real estate property on the archipelago depends on the nationality of the buyer. The Maltese society is very welcoming and foreign nationals are well integrated.
Non-Maltese purchasers can buy their property in Malta or Gozo that have become appealing investment destinations thanks to the favourable schemes applied by the government. Home owners do not have to pay any annual property tax in Malta.
Non-Maltese citizens who want to settle in Malta permanently can benefit from the double Taxation Agreement – established between Malta and several western countries – that ensures tax advantages to Non-Maltese residents. Pensions can be easily transferred to Malta.
Three Designated Areas have been nominated by the Maltese government in order to encourage foreign property investments in the country: Chambray in Gozo, Portomaso in St Julians and The Cottonera. These three areas offer more liberal regulations; indeed, foreign companies can buy real estate properties and there is no restriction on the number of properties an investor can buy.
Obviuosly, there are several conditions a foreign investor must satisfy in order to buy a real estate property in Malta. Overseas investors must obtain a permit for the Acquisition of Immovable property (AIP) from the Ministry of Finance. No authorisation is required for EU citizens wno want to settle permanently in Malta and wish to buy a property in the country to use it as their primary residence. A citizen of the EU who already owns a house in Malta can purchase a second property only if he/she has resided in Malta for at least five years.
Overseas buyers can only purchase a property they will destine to his/her own personal residential use. Only villas or houses of characters that are located on a Designated Area can be leased out.
Before signing the final contract, the buyer must produce a Documentary Evidence of Foreign Origin of Funds.
The resale of immovable properties is allowed only to Maltese residents. Foreign buyers can own just one property in Malta and Gozo.
The costs involved in the purchase of a real estate property in Malta include the Duty on documents that amounts to 5% of the purchase price of the property, a 1% notary fee and a tax to be paid to the Ministry of Finance.