The property market in Malta has changed significantly over the past decade. If you had visited Malta 10 years ago, you would have noticed mostly terraced houses in villages, with tall buildings in the more urban areas of Sliema and Saint Julian's.
Nowadays, many things have changed and the type of property in Malta has increased significantly with much less low rise buildings in favor of super modern high rise ones.
The economic boom that started around 2015 brought about an increase in population due to inward migration together with an appetite for property investment. For this reason, some traditional houses made way for multi floor buildings with flats that accommodate the increased number of residents looking for a home on the island.
Properties in Malta can include apartments, townhouses, and villas.The most expensive properties are found in popular areas, such as Sliema and St. Julian's, while more affordable properties can be found in the south of the island. Malta also offers a number of new developments and off-plan properties for those looking to purchase a new home. Nowadays buy apartments in malta got expensive since the arriving of igaming companies offering high salaries to their employees.
All property types in Malta
If you are also interested in investing you can choose from the following types of malta properties:
The most popular properties
A great option for a family home, terraced houses in Malta are among the newer types of property in the islands. First appearing after the Second World War, terraced houses are of uniform design and in a row.
It may be a minimum of a row of three but there is no upper limit as to how many houses are in the terrace. The end of terrace houses may differ in design and size but will be in keeping with the style of the whole row.
Generally, terraced houses for sale have at least three bedrooms and have a square meterage of 100+. Terraced houses to rent are popular with families.
A maisonette in Malta is a home within a structure where the rest of the building is either more homes or put to some other use. For example, you might find a maisonette to rent above a shop. Even though maisonettes may share a building, their advantage is that they have their own entrance from the outside (unlike flats which share a communal entrance).
Maisonettes may all be on one single floor, but you will also find duplex maisonettes, some of which have roof access, so you gain the advantage of outside space.
Located on the top floor of a building and usually commanding a premium price for the fact that no one lives above you and you might enjoy fabulous views, the availability of and demand for penthouses has increased in recent years. Developments, especially in the Special Designated Areas, of tall blocks of flats simply means more top floor homes.
Penthouses may be of any size from a studio flat to a multi-bedroom apartment and may also be a duplex design. They might also have outdoor space either as part of the design or via access to the roof. Some may have space to convert to single storey flat into a duplex or room for a pool.
You might not necessarily start your property search looking for duplexes. Many people probably do not understand what a duplex is and if you search, it might not become any clearer because the term can be varyingly applied.
The most accepted definition is that a duplex is two homes attached to each other, each with its own separate entrance. However, you will also find the term applied to flats and penthouses which are built over two floors.
A duplex is usually larger than a flat so are good for larger families or a couple looking to expand their family.
Townhouses are one of the most distinctive types on this island. In the Western World, townhouses are synonymous with tall buildings on a small footprint and are generally built as a terrace.
Although there are a few examples of these, townhouses are more commonly detached properties. Mostly, they were constructed 200-300 years ago and are usually in the older part of the town or village. If you are going to buy one, look for original features and, as a family home, an enclosed garden is a bonus.
Whether you prefer to call it a flat or an apartment, what we’re talking about is a self-contained housing unit that is part of a larger building with several units. It might be a small building with two or three flats, usually in a converted house, or it could be a tower block with dozens of units such as those that are now a familiar sight in the Special Designated Areas.
Buy a flat and you have many options, except they will always be in urban areas rather than rural locations and villages. This is equally true for flats to rent in Gozo.
A studio flat is a single space performing the function of the main rooms required for living i.e. kitchen, bedroom, and sitting room.
The space may be divided to give the semblance of rooms and the bathroom is usually a separate room off the main area.
A studio is good for a single person or couple and many people look to buy a studio flat in Malta as their first step on the property ladder. If you are a single person looking to live alone, renting a studio flat is generally the cheapest option.
Pet-friendly usually only applies to rental properties and clauses about the presence and maintenance of pets are usually included in your tenancy agreement.
But it isn’t exclusive. Non-rental properties may also have clauses where pets are not welcome. It’s not very common but blocks of flats may prefer that you are a pet-free owner.
If you have a pet, it is best to always look for pet-friendly properties in Malta and if it isn’t specified, you should certainly establish if there are any conditions.
Houses of character
If you love original, antique, or unique features, buy a house of character. Although mostly found in rural locations in the islands, any property can qualify as a house of character if it has features that make it stand out from its neighbours.
They are older properties – usually dating to the 18th and 19th centuries - and many have been snapped up by developers and been renovated and refurbished, but you may be lucky to find a rare gem in original condition.
If you are looking to rent a house of character, you should be prepared that there might be a premium because of the special features.
If your idea of a villa in Malta is a lovely house near the sea and maybe with a pool, you won’t be far wrong. But if you assume they are just for foreign holidaymakers, you are wrong.
You can buy a villa as your family home or if you’re very lucky to be able to do so, buy a villa as your own holiday home you can escape to at any time.
Villas are standalone houses usually with a surrounding garden and in a rural location and they can be of various styles. Villas are good properties for a buy to let investment because there are plenty of people who want to rent a villa.
A bungalow is a single-storey home offering all the convenience of single-level living which can be appreciated by anyone, not just those with mobility issues.
Bungalows in Malta enjoy various styles and may be detached or semi-detached and may also fall under another property type such as villa, farmhouse, or house of character. Some have been extended, with the roof space being made into rooms with the addition of dormer windows.
You can find bungalows for sale in Malta and Gozo and there are sometimes rentals available.
If you don’t want to live in an urban area and want a house with some personality, buy a farmhouse in Malta. Many farmhouses, also in Gozo, are no longer functioning as their original intention with the change from a largely-agrarian economy, and all over the islands, they make fabulous family homes.
Many have had their potential realised and have been developed to make them suitable for the demands of modern living, so you get a beautiful house with plenty of interesting features as well as all mod cons.
Other types of property in Malta
There are good reasons to rent or buy a garage. You might need a garage to park your car because you live in a street where parking isn’t possible. You might be a two-car family and only have space to park one car. You might be a tradesperson and need somewhere to safely lock up your van and equipment. You might need storage space for your business.
If your need is permanent, rent a garage. If it’s long term, it makes sense to buy. Garages are found in various locations, so it’s a case of finding one that is most convenient.
Making the right decision for your office is important because it can be a key factor in the success of your business. The positive aspect of offices is that there is an excellent choice. You could be able to buy an office that fits your needs in terms of location, size and budget. And there is an equally good choice if you are looking to rent one.
Whether renting or buying, check the square meterage of space and check the floor plan to ensure that it is conducive to your needs. If you are an expanding business, certainly consider if there is space to accommodate new staff/operations.
Property is defined as commercial if it is used for any purpose that generates a profit or gain. There is a huge range in Malta and indeed, MEPA, the Malta Environment & Planning Authority has defined 19 different “classes of use”. This is important to remember if you buy commercial property as you may have to go through a legal process if you want to change the class of use. You may also want to have a look at the Planning Authority Listings.
If you’re looking to rent one, it is best if you find a property that is fit for purpose as it probably isn’t a good investment to make major alterations to a rental property.
Buy directly from an owner or agency?
Whichever type you choose to look for, you will also have to decide whether to buy directly from a owner/developer or use the services of one of the estate agents. You will find a number of sellers who wish to sell theirs without using a real estate agent.
There are also a number of developers which will show you detailed plans of projected flats and penthouses, some of which could be already in the construction stage with a planned finish date.
Alternatively, you may opt for the help of real estate agents who have a good knowledge of the local property market and can help you find what you are looking for in return of a commission on the selling price charged to the seller.
Tips for buying property
First, get a quotation from the lender. Before you go and look at properties for sale, find out how much you can borrow and get your loan pre-approved, meaning that you are certain to get the loan providing that your financial situation does not change. This will save you time from looking at property beyond your budget and help you focus your energy on the various available homes within your reach. Next, compare lenders. You will probably be paying your home loan for a while so make sure you get the best deal possible by having visited a number of lenders to find out what conditions they can offer. Make sure you are aware of every expense.
There are a number of fees in addition to the mortgage. You have to make sure you have the income to cover other expenses such as taxes, notary and architect fees, common parts fees (in case of a block of flats) and insurance. Verify all the information described in the listing. One issue that might crop up with furnished homes is what is going to stay with the home and what is going to leave with the previous owner. Above all, do not make any hasty decisions. If you are not convinced after a first viewing, ask for another one or keep searching if you cannot see yourself in that property.
Also be careful when renting a property as there is not yet a Maltese government agency that protects tenants from landlords who withhold the deposit for no reason.