Maltese properties are typically subdivided into six categories, namely maisonettes, apartments, villas, terraced houses, farmhouses and houses of character.
There are certain aspects one should keep in mind when deciding to purchase a new property, such as budget, financial scheme in order to buy the property, preferred area to live in, the type of property, the space required and the desired amenities, such as shops or entertainment.
When it comes to foreigners buying Maltese property, EU citizens are allows to purchase a property as a primary residence, as well as an immoveable property, with no permit required. However, when purchasing a property with the intention of using it as a secondary residence, EU citizens who have lived in Malta for less than 5 years require a permit. Non-EU citizens who want to buy property in Malta must apply for an acquisition of immoveable property permit.
In addition, to be able to purchase Maltese property the potential buyer is required to provide evidence that the funds that shall be used have been remitted from abroad. The proof should be in the form of a certificate from the applicant’s bank confirming this and also the capacity to remit the minimum required amount to Malta. Other documents required may include birth and marriage certificates, judicial or police certificates from the residents’ country, a copy of the property’s deed or rental contract (in the case of the property having already been acquired), and passport photographs.
Upon all requirements being settled, the estate agent or seller is contacted. Once a suitable property is chosen and a purchase price agreement is settled on, the seller and purchaser sign a preliminary agreement. This agreement is binding both parties to sell/purchase immoveable property under the terms and conditions that were agreed upon, and is locally known as a ‘konvenju’. At this time the buyer is also required to pay 10% of the selling price as a deposit. In addition to this, a 1% stamp duty is also paid to the notary for registration of the purchase agreement and to pay the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.
This purchase agreement is typically valid for three months, and during this period the notary performs due diligence in order to prove the legitimacy of the ownership. Once this has been established, the Final Deed is drafted for the buyer and seller to sign. Upon signing of this deed, the balance due on the selling price and stamp duty is paid. With this, the sale is concluded.
Property in Malta has many benefits, such as: