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Alluring Malta

The small island of Malta is almost 17 miles long and nine miles wide, with a population of just over 400,000, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. however, as we reach the end of the summer, it is important to add that it has a pleasant, warm climate with no grey, wet winters that we have become used to. A stable government and economy, combined with an established property market, both for sales and rentals, are complemented by tax incentives to encourage foreigners to invest in Malta.

Ray Woods of MaltaBuyProperty (maltabuyproperty.co.uk) works closely with the Frank Salt agency in Malta, with the advantage for British buyers that he’s in the UK and is readily accessible. He owns a holiday home in Malta, so he knows what he is talking about. “Malta has so many advantages,” Ray says. “First of all, there’s the language. Most people speak English, so it is easy to buy and sell a property because all the paperwork is in English; and secondly, whether you have a holiday home or want to move there permanently, it means that you won’t be stuck with just the expat community.”

eing able to speak the lingo makes it so much easier to integrate, talk to local people and get to know them. Ray is selling a two bedroom furnished corner penthouse with rural views at St Paul’s Bay for €151,000 (£127,800), and a two-bedroom furnished apartment with terrace, sea views and a twocar garage, in Mellieha, which is near the ferry to Gozo, for €205,000 £173,400)

Malta offers various tax benefits for EU residents, including a flat rate of income tax of 15 per cent for retirees. Potential buyers should note that, although property might not be the cheapest to buy in Europe (there has been no general slump in prices, as there has been in nearby Italy), there is no council tax or annual property taxes.

Along with low tax, there’s low crime: people leave their windows open and children play safely in the streets, and it is perfectly placed for exploring other countries, as it lies in the centre of the Mediterranean, 50 miles south of Sicily. Air Malta (airmalta.com) flies to 41 destinations, including Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham and Manchester, and Ryanair offers budget flights to several destinations, including nine in the UK. There are great opportunities for all sorts of outdoor activities, around 40 wellness centres and spas, shopping, theatres, good restaurants and bars, a vibrant nightlife, water sports and many unspoilt beaches and inlets.

And with 7,000 years of history, there are plenty of intriguing places, museums and architectural delights to discover, including three Unesco World Heritage sites — the Megalithic Temples of Malta, the city of Valletta, which will be the European Capital of Culture in 2018, and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, a prehistoric rock-cut underground complex dating back to around 2500 BC; not to mention the fascinating towns of Mdina.

Author: Mary Wilson
Source: A Place in the Sun

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