Malta Real Estate Sector

Property Law

Malta’s serene Mediterranean landscape, the fusion of neolithic, baroque and contemporary architecture and the hospitality of the Maltese people all render Malta a unique destination for any traveller. Its Mediterranean climate, mild winters and hot summers, coupled with a low crime rate, excellent healthcare, a quiet way of life and relatively low cost property, entice expatriates to purchase property on these small islands and make it their home. Thus, Malta's Property & Development industry thrives as more locals as well as foreigners seek to turn their maltese property into a home.

Maltese Properties Types

Malta’s property market presents a wide range of possibilities for anyone seeking to invest in property on the island. Ranging from high-end villas and villa apartments, to houses of character, maisonettes, town houses and apartments, all needs are catered for.

A number of Special Designated Areas exist in various locations in Malta and Gozo.  These are areas comprising top-end and exclusive residential or commercial properties offering a wide range of facilities and amenities. Set in Fort Chambray, Portomaso, Cottonera, Manoel Island/Tigne Point, Tas-Sellum Residence (Mellieha Project), Madliena Village, Fort Cambridge Zone, Ta’ Monita Residence in Marsascala, Pender Place and Kempinski Residences San Lawrenz Gozo, properties in these areas enjoy several exemptions established in Maltese law.

The Property & Development Industry in Malta: Malta’s Property Market

While property values have, in the last 5 years, plummeted around the globe, the Malta property market downturn has been nowhere near as radical. The average Maltese property prices recorded an annual fall of just 2.7% in 2011, according to statistics by Malta’s Central Bank. Malta’ previous property boom was owed to Malta’s climate, the country’s tax-efficient status and special residency status schemes that attract foreigners to our shores. The fact that Malta retained, to a certain extent, its property values has been very encouraging to past and current investors eyeing the island as their next investment project.

Malta’s property & development industry has seen a surge in property prices in 2015 as the Maltese economy continues to perform among the highest performing eurozone economies. According to the central bank of Malta, Malta’s property prices rose to 10.03% (8.53% inflation-adjusted), a trend which can be partially attributed to government measures aimed at increasing property demand, such as the Malta Individual Investor Programme.

Malta’s property can be bought through a company or via a trust, a fact which investors see as highly advantageous. Property purchases through companies are usually used in order to use the retained earnings within the company directly. There is no distribution from the company to the personal shareholders, and therefore there is no additional dividend tax. This mechanism can also be used for asset protection purposes.  Malta is renowned as a respectable and stable trust jurisdiction based on a modern trust law, it has also become very common for property in Malta to be acquired in trust. Regulated by the Trusts and Trustees Act 2004, trusts give acquirers the possibility that the property bought is maintained and managed in the best interests of the beneficiaries and in a manner that maximises the property investment held in trust.

Our Property & Development Industry Team

Our specialist property& development team is made up of tax advisors, property lawyers, accountants and trust consultants and administrators who competently manage a real estate portfolio for a number of different clients. We bring together expertise not only in legal, trust and financial management but also in property investment, development, procurement and management.

Our property & development lawyers and planning consultants can provide counselling on residential, commercial, mixed-use and industrial property acquisition, sale and lease as well as consulting services on residential, tourism and industrial real estate development; government permits and procedures. Our Property & Development Team also provides a full service in connection with the drafting, review and negotiation of preliminary agreements and deeds of sale/ purchase of property in Malta. We also work closely with banks, architects and involved parties to ensure smooth property transactions. Our property & development lawyers are also able to coordinate our in-house project management service for conversion or refurbishment projects of residential and commercial property where appropriate.

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