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We’ve all done it! We’re on holiday, wandering along a shopping street when we spot an estate agent’s window. The thought process is pretty much the same for everyone: “It’s lovely here. I wonder how much it costs to buy something?”

In the not too distant past this was a proposition that was entertained by many visitors to Malta but followed through by few, as the legal pitfalls and financial restraints were strict and numerous. However, since Malta became a fully-fledged member of the European Union, the barriers have come crashing down.


Now buying a holiday or retirement home, or simply investing in real estate, is a proposition that has become even more accessible and attractive.


Maltese and foreign-owned real estate agents have risen to the challenge and today offer a vast range of properties, from stylish apartments and homely maisonettes to seaside village houses and country bungalows.


The trendy towns of Sliema and St Julian's are the liveliest spots on Malta's beautiful coastline, but the not-so-young – who let’s face it are those who actually have the money to invest - mostly favour the Mellieha and St Paul's Bay areas.


But only 28 per cent of foreign-owned homes are actually found in what would generally be considered ‘holiday areas’. You too may prefer to buy a traditional village property with a walled garden and a cool interior courtyard, where the centrepiece is a pattering fountain or your own pool.


Agents call these types of homes ‘houses of character’ and many have a distinct Mediterranean feel with their vaulted ceilings, tiled passageways, and archways. Prices are bound to vary according to selected areas and size of properties, but any investment in property is fairly safe and turns out to be a fruitful one in the overwhelming majority of cases.


The popularity of Malta and Gozo with their virtually crime-free environment confirms the wisdom of such a move. Affordability and low maintenance rates are other advantages that have a bearing on house-buying in Malta.


The same goes for low living costs, juicy tax concessions, and the fact that almost everybody speaks English. You won't find many places where it's this easy to integrate into local society. And you won’t find many Mediterranean investment opportunities where you can deal with lawyers and other officials that can converse with you in your native tongue.


Property prices aren't bargain-basement, but you can find some good deals...if you have a good scout around. Malta has long been a favourite British retirement destination but is now fast being discovered by other European and American home-seekers wishing to live in a sun-kissed outpost in the Med’. It’s not hard to see why! 

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