More Foreigners Buying Malta Property

MEDIA ROOM

It would appear that the number and value of properties purchased by foreigners increased significantly in 2011, reversing a three-year slump in the sector, according to figures obtained by The Times.

According to the figures, foreigners bought 994 properties in Malta and Gozo in 2011. This meant that there was a significant increase over 2010, when foreigners bought 886 such properties.

The €185 million total value represents a 20 per cent increase over the corresponding 2010 and 2009 figures, when properties sold to foreigners fetched approximately €146 million. While the number of foreign-bought properties is yet to reach 2008 levels, foreigners spent practically as much money on domestic real estate last year as they did in 2008.

The statistical upswing comes as welcome news to the government, which has repeatedly insisted that property sales to foreigners were not strongly correlated to permanent residency status.

Malta’s permanent residency scheme, which offers foreigners significant taxation benefits, was suspended in late 2010 and replaced in the latter half of 2011 with a new system aimed at attracting high net worth individuals to Malta.