House Hunting in … Malta

Mr. Buttigieg said that, in the past year, about a quarter of his agency’s buyers — and 10 to 12 percent of those who bought high-end properties — were foreigners, most of them from Britain, Russia, Germany and Italy. Buyers also came from South Africa, Egypt, Libya, Algeria and Nigeria, he said.

Malta also attracts residents of neighboring countries looking for economic stability and lower taxes, said Mr. Hili, whose agency has worked with buyers from France and Italy in the past year, as well as those from Germany, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Buying Basics

Buyers from countries outside the European Union are subject to restrictions on residential purchases, said Kevin Dingli, the managing partner of Dingli & Dingli Law Firm, in the Maltese capital of Valletta. They have three options: They can obtain a permit from the Ministry of Finance, which takes about eight weeks; they can buy property in a designated area above a certain price threshold; or they can participate in Malta’s citizenship-by-investment program.

Buyers pay for notary services, which cost between half a percent and three-quarters of a percent of the sale price, he said. A lawyer can be useful for drawing up a legally binding preliminary sale and purchase agreement, ideally before a notary is involved, Mr. Dingli said. The legal fee is typically 1 percent of the sale price, he said.

Other closing costs include searches by the notary; a stamp duty that is typically 5 percent, but is reduced in some cases; and an 18 percent value-added tax on any legal or notary services.


Languages and Currency

Maltese, English; euro (1 euro = $1.17)

Taxes and Fees

There are no property taxes in Malta, Ms. Podgorska said.


Svetlana Podgorska, Malta Sotheby’s International Realty, 011-356-9910-8077;

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.