Malta’s importance and appeal as an overseas property investment destination is again on the rise amongst foreigners, primarily due to the improving state of economies in the major European countries, as well as thanks to a number of local national and private initiatives being taken to increase the islands’ awareness overseas.
Assets held by foreigner nationals in Malta have crept up in recent months to stand at €28bn, up from €25bn last December and just €8.7bn at the close of 2003, according to the latest statistics from the Central bank of Malta. This is also reflected in tourist figures for 2009 and 2010, with both years outperforming previous years in tourism traffic, as well as the number of properties purchased by foreign nationals.
When it comes to taxation and property, Malta is an excellent investment hotspot thanks to its attractive tax rates. The country’s EU membership and being part of the Eurozone, needless to say, help as well.
An added advantage of Malta’s taxation system is that the country maintains double-taxation treaties with more than forty countries, many of which guaranteeing that profits generated in Malta are either exempt from tax in the country of residence of the investor, or that such a country will provide a tax credit for the Malta tax spared as a consequence of the incentives Malta provides. In addition, companies investing and starting up a business locally benefit from advantageous corporate tax rates.
Malta is also ideal as a retirement destination for pensioners, not only thanks to the islands’ idyllic weather and warm climate, its natural beauty and inert friendliness of the locals, but also where it comes to one’s pocket. In fact, under Maltese law, foreigners who move to the country and draw down pensions only face a 15% tax rate. And let’s not forget that in Malta no capital gains or income tax is charged so long as these are not brought into the country. All this makes Malta very attractive from a tax point of view.
To make Malta’s property offering even more attractive to foreign nationals, a good selection of luxury property developments have been earmarked by the local authorities as Special Designated Areas (SDA), where there are absolutely no restrictions to acquisition for foreigners. Spread across the two islands, these areas represent recently constructed developments intended to provide top-end residential properties, often consisting of a cluster of apartments, maisonettes and penthouses built with a common theme on an extensive piece of land, often enhanced by their location, amenities and finishes. These include, amongst others, Portomaso and Pendergardens in St Julians, Tigne Point and Fort Cambridge in Sliema, Fort Chambray and Kempinsky residences in Gozo, Tas-Sellum Village in Mellieha, St Angelo Mansions in Vittoriosa and Ta’ Monita Residence in Marsascala.
A couple of decades ago, Malta’s lure to foreign property buyers, was its sun and sea. Today the countries offering has expanded tenfold, making buying property and moving to the islands ideal not only as a holiday home, but even more as a place to retire and take up residency, as well as a means for a guaranteed and secure investment.