Buying a property in Malta & Gozo
Malta is graced with a vast range of unique and authentic property, spanning from stylish apartments to historical palazzos and quaint farmhouses. Our small archipelago is limited in space; and throughout the year of development of our Maltese islands the demand for property has consistently risen and future projections indicate a continued growth in demand.
Kicking off your property hunt with an experienced real estate agent gives you a broader perceptive of the ins and outs of the current availability in the market. After a few viewings if your demands have been clearly understood then your property, your future home has been already chosen. Typically a formal offer would be made through the real estate agency to the seller. Once the offer is accepted, a notary appointed by the buyer is asked to draft the 'Promise of Sale,' an agreement which is signed by both parties stipulating all conditions of purchase including a deposit on account of the purchase price, bank loan if applicable and the duration until the parties must appear on the final deed of sale.
Upon signing the promise of sale the notary public is required to register the purchase agreement and payment of 1% must be issued by the buyer to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue (Click here for more information about expenses when purchasing a property in Malta). During the agreed period(normally 3 months) the notary public carries out the necessary due diligence.
Once all research and conditions are complete, the notary notifies both parties for a meeting to sign the final deed. When the buyer is buying through a bank loan the signing of the final deed is normally held at the bank. After the buyer settles the remaining balance with the seller and pays the remaining 4% stamp duty to the notary public, the seller and buyer exchange the property keys. Finally the notary public registers the property at the Public Registry. Remember the water and electricity meters must be changed into the new owner's name. All forms are available online or provided by your real estate agent.
This process is pertinent to both local and foreign buyers; however, the latter have certain obligations when purchasing a property in Malta. EU citizens are allowed to purchase only 1 property unless they are purchasing property within a Special Designated Area.
In the case of a non-EU citizen, or an EU citizen who has not resided in Malta for at least five years and is acquiring a secondary residence in Malta, a permit would be required and will only be granted if the immovable property is an apartment or maisonette the value of which is not less than €107,670 or any other property the value of which is not less than €179,400 and which is intended to be used by the non-resident as a residence for himself and his family and such non-resident does not own any other immovable property in Malta, other than immovable property which is exempt, such as property situated in Special Designated areas.