Real Estate Investment in Malta

Malta Property Tax & Regulations

27th March 2024

Real Estate Investment in Malta

Malta has become one of the hottest locations for property investment in Europe in the last few years, due to its prime location, sunny climate, and stable economy. Home to multiple growing industries, stunning beaches and a warm and welcoming local community, it is attracting investors from around the world. But what about real estate investment in Malta? Is it a good time to buy, where should you buy, and can it help you get residence? All your questions and more are answered in our comprehensive guide to buying property as an investment on the island of Malta.

Is it a good time to buy property in Malta?

Malta is currently amid a buyer's market where prices, supply and demand are steady. The cost of property is at a level where it provides a good return on investment if you rent or sell the property at any point. While some areas are somewhat expensive, many other locations around the island have bargains to be snapped up; in other words, there is something for everyone. For foreign buyers paying in cash and looking to live in Malta, set up a business, rent out the property, or just set up a base, there has never been a better time to take the plunge.

Will property prices in Malta fall?

Property prices in Malta have doubled since 2013, but will this trend continue? It is unlikely that they will continue to rise at the same rate. However, significant drops are also unlikely. While there is uncertainty around interest rates and the general economic situation in Europe, as well as a surge in the supply of property in Malta, prices will likely stay stable. Small dips may be registered here and there, but overall purchasing property in Malta is likely to remain sound and stable investment.

Can foreigners buy property in Malta?

Yes, foreign citizens, whether EU or non-EU, can buy property in Malta, but certain conditions apply. Malta is home to several special residential developments called Special Designated Areas (SDA), otherwise known as Lifestyle Developments. Situated in prime areas and served by all the amenities and facilities one would need, they are often high-end and highly sought after. Examples of SDAs in Malta include Portomaso, The Laguna, Tigne Point, Pendergardens, Tas-Sellum Residence, Ta’Monita, Smart City, and Fort Chambray, while more are currently planned and under construction.

Foreigners, either EU or non-EU, can buy property in these areas with no need for any paperwork or additional procedures. But if they wish to purchase outside these areas, an Acquisition of Property (AIP) permit is required.

Foreigners wishing to buy property in Malta outside a SDA are limited to purchasing only one property, but they can purchase additional properties inside an SDA. The AIP permit allows them to purchase the property for their own residential use and the property must meet a number of criteria. For example, it must be over a specific value depending on the location of the property.

EU nationals purchasing outside an SDA are also required to get an AIP, unless they have been permanently residing in Malta for five years. In such a case, they can purchase a maximum of two properties outside the SDA. For non-EU nationals, they can only purchase one. But in the case of purchasing property for business or commercial usage, EU nationals are not required to get an AIP.

In short, there is much more freedom for foreign nationals when it comes to buying property in an SDA. If property is desired outside of the SDA, permits must be applied for and certain requirements and limitations apply.

Can I get residency in Malta if I buy a house?

Those wishing to gain citizenship in Malta or permanent residency as a third Country National can do so through either the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Rules (MEIN) or The Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) for Non-EU Citizens. Both of these programmes have a number of criteria that need to be met one of which is a property investment of either a property purchase ranging from EUR 300,000 to EUR 700,000 or a rental agreement of EUR 10,000 to

EUR 16,000 depending on the programme you choose and the location of the property in question. 

How much do houses in Malta cost?

House prices in Malta can vary significantly depending on location, type of property, size, and finish. Overall, there is something for almost every budget from first time buyers, right up to high-net-worth individuals looking for a luxury Mediterranean retreat. But what about the average property prices?


The average cost of an apartment in central and urban locations is currently in the region of €3700 per square metre. In non-central and more rural locations, the price falls to €2560. Of course, there are many variations as apartments can include older blocks, or newly built. developments tailored to the high-end or foreign market. Similarly, apartments in rural Gozo will be significantly cheaper than Valletta waterfront or central Sliema.


When purchasing a house, you can expect to pay around €2180 per square metre for a renovated house in Gozo and the south, rising to €3700 in northern and central areas. Again, it will depend on the kind of house you are looking for, whether it is semi-detached, a new build, a townhouse or a house of character in a historical area. Bargains are to be had in smaller villages, but they typically require a lot of work to bring up to scratch.


Malta is a prime location for sprawling villas with sea or country views, pools, and ample gardens. But this standard of living comes with a price. You can expect to pay a minimum of €700,000 in Gozo for a villa, rising to a minimum of €800,000 in other areas. The prices go up sharply from here as many such properties include underground garages, multiple bedroom suites and are finished to the highest standards.


The cost of a penthouse is typically around 10-20% higher than other apartments in the same building due to their size, finish, and the level of privacy and security they offer. Highly sought after, penthouses can start from €3000 per square metre, rising sharply depending on factors like the view, terrace space and interior finish and features. 

Where is the cheapest property in Malta?

The cheapest properties in Malta are to be found in the southern regions, including Marsaskala, Kalkara, Fgura, Paola, Zejtun and areas around Marsaxlokk and the port. Other options can be found in neighbouring Gozo, a short ferry ride away, where costs are around 10-20% less than the mainland. For the best prices, look to smaller towns and villages rather than the more urban areas. Thankfully, due to Malta’s small size and good transport links, you are never far from where you want, or need to be, giving you more flexibility when it comes to where you buy.

What Are The Best Areas to Buy Property in Malta?

Which area is best to buy in really depends on your budget and purpose. SDAs are always a good option as they provide a good investment, and rental income opportunities and involve minimal paperwork for foreign citizens. Outside of those zones, areas like San Gwann, Swieqi, Gzira, and Sliema in the central region provide great diversity in property type, easy access to amenities, and convenient transport links. For those looking for a quieter life, The Three Cities, Marsaskala and Marsaxlokk, Zurrieq, and Birzebbuga are worth looking at. 

In the north, where there are big expat communities, Mellieha, Bugibba and St Pauls Bay have a range of options to suit every kind of buyer. Gozo is also increasing in popularity for those that want a more picturesque and laid-back approach to life. In particular, Victoria, Marsalforn, and Xlendi are piquing interest with foreign buyers.

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Malta Sotheby's International Realty

Launched on the Maltese islands in 2013, Malta Sotheby's International Realty had one clear vision and goal in mind – to offer our clients the highest level of commitment and quality of service in the high-end residential and commercial real estate market throughout the Maltese Islands. We derive our success from local expertise, professionalism, commitment, and discretion to meet any client’s needs. We understand the importance of finding a home that not only suits your needs but suits your vision for the future – a place that facilitates comfort, creativity and familiarity. We realise that a home is much more than a place to live - it is a sanctuary from where we build families and dreams. Our real estate professionals will guide you towards finding your ideal home throughout the entire buying and selling process. The culture of Malta SIR is defined by our knowledgable and dedicated diverse team which spans over multiple nationalities, whether you are a vendor or a buyer we speak your language.

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