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Urban Conservation Areas (UCA’s) Government Incentives

26th August, 2022
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Urban Conservation Areas UCA in Malta

Incentives for Older-Type Properties and residences in Urban Conservation Areas

If you are looking to purchase and fix up old properties in either Malta or Gozo, or you are buying a property located in an UCA (urban conservation areas), there are several government incentives you should be aware of.

Exemption from capital gains tax and duty

Buyers are now exempt from capital gains tax and stamp duty on the first €750,000 of the value of property, if the property meets any of these criteria:

  • Property was built more than 20 years ago, and which have been vacant for more than 7 years
  • Property is located in an Urban Conservation Area
  • Property is newly built in a typical and traditional Maltese style and architecture.


This measure will be effective till October 2024.

uca malta - urban conservation areas

First-time buyers’ incentives

First-time buyers who acquire a 20 year+ vacant property, a property situated in UCA or a newly built house using traditional Maltese architecture, will be entitled to receive a grant of €15,000 if the property is in Malta. If the property is in Gozo, they will receive €40,000 – up from €30,000.

€10,000 Grant for First-Time Buyers

First-time buyers will be eligible for a one-time €10,000 grant spread out over 10 years. The grant will go towards the payment of the buyers’ home loans and will also cover property purchases since the beginning of 2022. The maximum allowed value of the property is €500,000.

Frank Salt Real Estate also offers a dedicated package for First Time Buyers worth over €15,000.

ucas in malta for property

VAT refund on restoration works

Current and prospective owners of qualifying properties may also benefit from a VAT refund of up to €54,000 on the first €300,000 spent on refurbishment works.

This scheme offers reimbursement of eligible costs related to the restoration and finishing of privately owned residential properties within Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs), properties that have been built for more than 20 years and have been vacant for more than seven years, and new properties that are developed in conformity with approved criteria reflecting older type property features. The government has also published set guidelines.

The incentive came into effect on the 12 October 2021 and will run till the 31 December 2024.

Works covered include:

  • The hire of equipment ​
  • Materials
  • Professional fees such as project management, architect’s fees and consultancy by specialists
  • Labour
  • Government charges directly related to finishing and restoration and lastly
  • Planning permit fees


Both exterior and interior finishing works are eligible, including plastering and painting, electricity and plumbing works, tiles and marble, internal and external doors, windows, and bathrooms.

No VAT refunds will be given for additions, improvements, alterations, or demolition works carried out that are not seen as finishing or restoration.

Artefacts, movable objects, furnishings and their reconstruction and conservation that lack any historic evidence in design or detail will also be disqualified.

Properties that benefit from the grant cannot be divided, meaning the number of residences in the unit must remain the same. If the property is re-developed into separate residential units, then the applicants will be required to pay back the full amount paid to them under this grant.

Applicants are allowed to apply for the grant on multiple properties, where they will be awarded a maximum aggregate of €54,000 on each property. However, they will not be able to apply for any other grant related to restoration or finishing works on the same property within five years of receiving this grant.

Applicants who intend to apply for the grant on more than one property must file separate applications for each property.

The UCA Localities in Malta & Gozo

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