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Malta reinventing itself as holiday-home destination

Thanks to its accession to the European Union in 2004, the arrival of low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and a new emphasis on cultural tourism, the Maltese Islands are reinventing themself as a holiday-home destination, reported.

“Since Ryanair started its daily flights at the end of last year, we’ve seen a big increase in British people — and younger types — looking for holiday homes, and also to buy as an investment,” Joe Lupi, managing director of Frank Salt estate agency was reported as saying. “About 60% of our buyers are British.” stated that Maltese property prices are not particularly cheap compared to the Costas or Portugal. However it reported to its readers that people who become full-time residents of Malta benefit from the flat income-tax rate of 15 per cent. “There are no council taxes to pay on the island although there are plenty of potholes,” it reported.

You need a special permit to buy more than one property. You may also face restrictions on renting out your properties — except in so-called special-designated areas, the handful of new developments in upmarket districts in which foreigners can purchase as many units as they wish.”

Trafford Busuttil, managing director of Propertyline estate agency and vice-president of the Federation of Estate Agents of Malta and Gozo said, “There has been a steady capital growth here since the 1960s. We have never seen a slump.”

Bill Blevins, the managing director of Blevins Franks International, an independent firm providing tax and investment advice, also thinks the outlook is good. “Malta properties have increased on average by about 9% each year over the past few years,” he says. “A purchase is still a sound investment, as long as ownership is expected to be for several years, to allow for short-term fluctuations. And, once Malta joins the euro on January 1 next year, I expect to see a rise in prices.”

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