A tiny set of islands nestling in the Med are proving an exception to the continuing financial doom and gloom that still prevails generally and their property sector continues to benefit.
With tourism and inward investment continuing to grow, Malta and Gozo look set to receive a further boost to their economy – with the sea-facing fortress City Valletta chosen as 2018 European Capital of Culture.
The property sector looks set to be one of the beneficiaries from this prestigious accolade – and the timing fits well with Government policies in place designed to reinvigorate residential property in this historic capital.
With a population of just over 400,000, Malta and Gozo continue to punch above their weight aided by a stable democracy, good transport links and a history of trading that goes back to the Phoenicians.
Malta has a rich cultural heritage that takes a modern form in a love of music of all kinds – some of which may stem from its proximity to Italy. Tenor Joseph Calleja is a national hero – he featured in 2012 at the Last Night Of the Proms. By contrast, a regular feature of Maltese summer life is the free Isle of MTV open air concert adjoining Valletta – which each year includes international artists such as Jesse J, and an audience of over 50,000.
Film production has a long history on Malta and older Britons will remember ‘The Malta Story’, a classic wartime love story set in the bombed parts of Valletta after the Second World War. Part of the current regeneration of Valletta includes the building of a new open air opera house in Valletta to replace the fine building destroyed in that conflict.
In 2012, Malta played host to the 25th Anniversary of the European Film Awards and each year, the Malta Film Commission awards 250,000 euros to the local production of short films.
Gozo, Malta’s sister island is quieter and less excitable than its bigger sister Malta and plays host to many painters, writers and poets – as well as those who just like to get away from it all. Despite a much smaller population than the mainland, it boasts its own opera house and a busy program of song and dance festivals – and exhibitions of paintings.
Ray Woods of UK-based www.maltabuyproperty.co.uk says: “Malta and Gozo remain minnows in the international property market, but that is part of their appeal.
“With English as a joint first language, Malta benefits economically through trade – and also by attracting new residents, businesses and second homeowners who are keen to make their home alongside local people, but without the downsides of communicating in another language.
“Culture in all its forms has always played a big part in Maltese life and the preparations for 2018 will have spin-offs for the tourism and property markets – and the economy in general.
A collection of properties for sale or rent
“The newly elected Labour Government moved quickly to quell any fears of being anti-business – holding meetings with key opinion formers including property developers and agents both before and after the election. This has led to some thoughtful concessions designed to boost the property sector and aid urban regeneration.
“Reflecting the increased interest in Valletta as a place to live as well as work, our associates in Malta, Frank Salt Real Estate have assembled a collection of properties for sale and rent, known as the Valletta Heritage Property Collection. This is also designed to complement Government incentives aimed at bringing older buildings back into active use.
“Other Government concessions include an easing of the residency conditions for non-EU applicants and selective tax concessions for those wishing to retire to, or make their living, in Malta.”
With one of the largest choices of sale and rental property, both residential and commercial on Malta and Gozo, www.maltabuyproperty.co.uk offers a UK-based service
Details of the European Capital of Culture celebrations in Valletta in 2018, can be found at www.valletta2018.org