This is the second of our monthly blog posts which take a closer to look at individual localities in Malta and Gozo, and find out what makes them so attractive to homeowners. Our first Locality of the Month was Attard.

In this month’s edition, we cover the another locality from the Three Villages cluster, Balzan.

 

Located at the centre of Malta, Balzan is the smallest village out of the Three Villages, yet the second largest in terms of population. The statistics from the latest census show that as of March 2013, Balzan is home to nearly 4,000 inhabitants.

This tranquil and historical locality is very sought after by home owners. It has recently seen a boom in the construction of apartments, mainly concentrated on the outskirts of Balzan since the historic centre is a protected area.

250px-Balzan-map.svg
Balzan is the smallest of the Three Villages and the second largest in terms of population.

 

 

History

Records show that the village of Balzan was inhabited as early as the beginning of the 15th century, with the dwellers consisting mainly of farmers who worked the surrounding fields. Originally part of Birkirkara, it was in the 17th century that Balzan started being considered as a separate locality.

This event in the village’s history occurred after Balzan acquired its own parish church, a religious building which stands to this day at the heart of the village and which is one of the locality’s principal attractions.

 

Even after becoming an independent parish, the population of Balzan remained low but this changed dramatically during World War II, when a large number of families from the Harbour region sought refuge from the daily enemy attacks moved into the safer central villages.

 

Many people from the Cottonera area settled in Balzan during that time and by the time the war ended, they had grown so fond of the quiet village that many decided to live there permanently.

 

A quick overview

Like many other Maltese villages, the name Balzan is thought to derive from the surname or characteristic of a notable past inhabitant. Historians believe that the name Balzan was either inherited from a family whose surname was Balzano, or else that the word refers to a Sicilian tax collector who resided there during feudal times.

Like the neighbouring villages of Attard and Lija, Balzan used to known for its agricultural land and the citrus gardens that dotted the whole area comprising the Three Villages. In fact, the village motto is: Hortibus undique septa, which means ‘Surrounded by gardens‘.

The village motto is: Hortibus undique septa.
The village motto is: Hortibus undique septa.

 

The village core of Balzan is a typically Maltese one, characterised by winding narrow alleyways, cul-de-sacs, and an impressive collection of townhouses in the historically and culturally rich centre.

The parish church rises proudly out of the centre of the village, with its imposing belfry dominating the square below it. This is the heart of the village where twice a year the inhabitants join together to celebrate the two saints revered by the faithful.

 

Main attractions

Besides the architectural attractions, in the form of statues and niches, as well as the parish church itself. The social attractions of Balzan is the village feast commemorating the Annunciation of Our Lady, celebrated on the second week of July. The parish also marks the feast of St Valentine with a smaller celebration in honour of the saint.

 

Its central location makes Balzan a very attractive place to live in, being just minutes away from Mosta, Birkirkara and Valletta, and having good access to the by-pass which leads to Sliema and St Julian’s.

 

The village is situated just ten minutes’ drive from Mater Dei Hospital and University, and is served by two bus connections, routes 54 and 106, which go to Valletta via Birkirkara and directly to hospital respectively. An express bus route to the airport also passes along the outskirts of the village.

Perhaps the best attraction of Balzan is despite its increased growth in the past few years, the village has lost none of its character and still retains that aura of tranquillity and respectability which makes this locality such an sought after place for young families and mature homeowners alike.

Is owning a home,

A li’l place to call your own,

Good reason for a loan?

Okay, so while the last line might have messed up the whole haiku vibe I was aiming for, the sentiment expressed by my impromptu foray into poetry is a common enough dilemma for many young (and not-so-young) people.

Becoming a homeowner is one of life’s big decisions. It’s up there with buying your first car, having a baby and choosing which pair of heels to wear on a Saturday night.

There are many reasons why people decide to own a house (or any other property really), and each one deserves its own space. The three most popular reasons are (from experience):

  1. Settling down to raise a family;
  2. Striking out on your own/becoming independent;
  3. As a solid investment choice

I’ll discuss each in turn in later posts. For now I’ll just focus on the general feeling, especially here in Malta, that people SHOULD become homeowners sooner or later.

Reasons pro

In a tightly-knit society like the Maltese society, where people live scarcely an hour’s drive from their family and relatives, it is only natural to follow in their footsteps and buy a house.

Although an increasing number of Maltese people live in apartments these days, owning a home is still seen as a very desirable thing; one of the signs that you have ‘made it’.

Moreover, with their penchant to turn their homes into treasure troves of mementos and frames of smiling relatives and scenes from their travels abroad, it’s easy understand why so many Maltese prefer to own a home rather than rent a tiny apartment.

Reasons con

But times change and so do the things people value.

Nowadays, particularly among the younger generations, a home may be seen as simply a bed to crash into after a day at work; a pit stop for life’s many adventures. Surely, it’s not worth going into the trouble of buying property!

People at their early stages of their careers and for whom money is still tight, maybe find it difficult to get a home loan or even see it as an undesirable burden.

Finally, some people simply value experiences more highly than possessions. Not wanting to spend so much money on a place they’re not planning to settle down into any way makes home owning an unappealing choice for their lifestyles.

It’s your choice

Deciding whether to become a home owner or not is ultimately a personal choice which should be taken by considering your priorities and those of the people you share your life with.

These priorities differ for each individual and can include: career choices and ambitions, personal attitudes towards settling down versus living a life of adventure and, of course, money issues.

How Home Sale Malta can help

Our website is obviously geared towards those people who want to buy and own a house.

Home Sale Malta makes it super-easy to find the home of your dreams by giving you a wide choice of premium listings complete with photographs and detailed floor plans.

Our team is always willing to assist you in your search for the perfect place to call your own, and if right now you’d be the last person to consider becoming a homeowner, don’t worry, we can always talk later. 😉

Tick-tock! Selling houses is a game that requires lots of patience. Although back in the UK I sold 19 of my own properties, each in under 12 weeks; the house I bought in Malta had been sitting on the market for six years!

Much like a game of chess, there are several factors that determine how quickly or how long it will take you until you remove the FOR SALE sign from the windowsill and hand over the keys.

In my experience as a real estate agent, you can combine the four main factors that affect time on the market (ToM) in the following equation:

ToM = (L * C * M)/P

Of those four elements, two you have total control on whereas the other two you don’t.

Let’s examine each one in turn and find out why.

1) Location (Location, Location!)

There’s a reason why this section’s title is an adage that’s well known even outside of real estate circles.

Location is the prime factor that influences ToM. If your property is located in the hippest, trendiest area of the country, where buyer’s demand naturally gravitates, then you can ask for higher offers on your property.

Geographical features, such as unobstructed countryside and seaside views considerably increase the value of a property, as do socio-economic and infrastructural aspects like safety, closeness to amenities and schools, and accessibility by car.

Of course, your property’s location isn’t something you can control. There’s a reason why it’s called immovable property!

2) Condition

The type of property you’re selling (terraced house, maisonette, apartment, villa, etc.) and its state also contributes to ToM: the better the condition, the quicker it usually sells.

Luckily, you can control this to a certain extent by refurbishing and renovating your property to make it: i) safer, ii) more welcoming and iii) better in line with modern standards.

Though this might set you back a lot of money, think of it as an investment which you’ll easily recoup thanks to the higher price that you can now demand for your property.

Moreover, everybody loves a story of property that has been carefully restored to its former grandeur or resurrected into a new skin. That’s why even derelict houses can become a point of pride to their new owners.

3) Market

Let’s focus on the macroeconomics of property selling next. This is another factor you can’t control and it is so complex that we’ll only limit ourselves to a very brief explanation.

Basically property markets can be roughly classified as sellers’ markets and buyers’ market. Nothing worth getting an MBA about, it’s just the principle of demand and supply in action.

In a sellers’ market there are less people selling property than people wanting to buy property.

Demand outstrips supply. In these cases, the scarcity of houses on the market combined with a large number of potential buyers drives prices up and generally reduces the time property spends on the market.

On the other hand, in a buyers’ market, there’s a glut of property waiting to be sold and few buyers interested. Supply is bigger than demand. If you’re a seller you’ll have to decrease their prices if you want to unload property fast; if you don’t, then you’re in for a long wait.

4) Price

On to the microeconomics of property selling. I already explained how the market influences the price of individual properties.

Luckily, this is another aspect you can control, depending on what your profit expectations are on the sale. Some people simply want to get rid of their house because they’re leaving the country or don’t want to live there any more; they’re eager to sell and put up their houses for very low prices.

Others want to maximise their return on investment and prefer to wait out until the right buyer turns up.

Generally, properties at low prices sell faster than those valued at higher budget ranges.

BONUS: Luck

An underappreciated factor in selling property is luck. It’s rare that the four factors mentioned above come together at just the right moment, exactly when you’re selling your house.

Luck also involves the buyer’s psychology as well, a fascinating subject I’ll tackle eventually. Maybe your house of character reminds him/her of their dear nanna’s house and they immediately warm to it.

This bonus element isn’t exactly controllable, but there are things you can do to increase the statistical odds of selling your property faster, such as staging and marketing to a wider audience.

Wrapping up (or, TLDR)

Whoa, this was a lengthy post! Pictures are worth a thousand words and the Venn diagram below neatly summarises the gist of this piece.

There are four main factors that determine how long your property stays on the market. The faster all four align together (with a bit of luck), the quicker your property will sell.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 15.30.34

Here at Home Sale Malta we’re always trying to come up with new and creative ways to make life easier for our sellers and buyers.

We regularly get together and bounce off ideas with each other on how to improve our services. Some ideas are binned, a few are shelved for future reference, and one or two get us so excited that we can’t wait to share them with you!

One of our latest brainwaves is to set up a section on our site where people can recommend their favourite tradesmen: plumbers, carpenters, decorators and so on.

The ‘conventional’ way

One of the biggest headaches for new homeowners is to find trustworthy professionals whom they can rely on to transform their house into a home. A dream home.

Of course, you could simply open up the Yellow Pages, look at the listings and phone the company with the biggest advert, or the one whose name starts with ‘A’. (Note: I’m not inventing this; companies that appear at the top of the list get way more calls than the rest!)

Luckily, there are other methods. You could ask your family and friends for recommendations. Unfortunately – unless they’re in the business themselves – they’ll probably know only one or two good tradesmen, so if they’re both too busy to come over you’ll be left high and dry again. 🙁

Problems and a solution

So the main problems with the most common methods of finding tradesmen are:

  1. Yellow Pages: Huge choice + Blind trust
  2. Personal recommendations: Little choice + Proven track record

What we need is a system that gives us a wide variety of tradesman classified by trade to choose from AND social validation in the form of ratings and recommendations by other home owners who used their services already.

Trip Advisor meets LinkedIn for tradesmen, basically!

Benefits for all

What the Home Sale Malta team envisions is a new section on our site where tradesmen can set up their profiles; listing contact details, the services they offer, price range and also pictures from their portfolio of projects.

They can then ask their past/existing clients to rate them and write recommendations on their profiles to push them up the rankings of our top tradesmen list for each category. We’d throw in a ‘Like’ button as well to allow clients to share their recommendations on their Facebook wall as well.

It’s a win-win-win situation!

Tradesmen get their services advertised for free on our page and their clients’ Facebook walls; homeowners get a crowd-curated listing which they can filter according to trade type, ratings, price, etc.; and we at Home Sale Malta fulfil our mission of making home buying (and selling) as effortless and enjoyable as possible. 🙂

Like I said, everybody wins.

Your opinion counts

So what’s the verdict? Do YOU agree with our idea? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and if you have any suggestions on how we can make this even more useful for homeowners we’ll be happy to read them and give a shout-out to all you, and your brilliant ideas in a later post.

Is This Going To Hurt?

 

Can we begin?  Are you sitting comfortably?

I need you to take a deep breath as you are about to read some hard truths regarding selling your property at the right price.

My question ‘Is this going to hurt? Pricing Property’ is not meant for physical pain – though perhaps it may get emotional?

Selling property here in Malta can be as stressful as anywhere else in the world, and like anywhere else in the world determining factors play a crucial role in you getting a Sale.  Selling any property is probably going to be the largest financial transaction that you ever take.  But your property will never sell if it is priced incorrectly.  First Point – If you think that a high price and leaving it on the market year after year so that the property ‘grows into’ the asking price you are sadly mistaken.  That property just grows a little bit more tired, a little bit more run down, and if a buyer sees that you have been listed for years…well then, ‘surely something is wrong with it?’

If you price your property because you need a set financial outlay for the next move; you are asking for trouble.  Let me be clear; there are 3 parties involved in the pricing of your property:

1)   You; and what you need out – cash wise. 

2)   The Buyer; and what they are prepared to pay for the property.

3)   The Market;  current market conditions dictate what the real value of your property is TODAY.

Here is the hard stuff  …(sorry)  factors that make justifying asking a higher price for your property, irrelevant  – Essentially these factors do not take into consideration numbers 2 and number 3 above.

  • What YOU bought the property for originally… is not relevant.
  • The cash you NEED from the sale of the property… is not relevant.
  • What you COULD have sold the property for a few years ago …is not relevant.
  • What you have SPENT on the property over the years …is not relevant. *
  • Getting enough to cover your Agents extortionate commission FEES…is not relevant.
  • What your Uncle/Aunt/Grandfather/Children say the property is worth …is not relevant.
  • You leaving all your furniture, because you no longer need it …is not relevant.
  • Your property is UNIQUE…is not relevant.  Everybody’s Property is Unique.  Move on.

Phew, was that hard?  Selling Property in Malta, should not be any different from the rest of the European Communities.  Granted there is no official valuation system here in Malta and perhaps that should be addressed?.  There is no ‘surveyor’ giving a valuation for lending purposes, although Architects take a role in this.  But the same rules apply to selling any thing – be it property or a piece of scrap metal;  the market decides what it can sustain.

((Not to move from the point; but I am completely astounded that there are no government records accessible, that officially log what each property has sold for?  Every estimate or ‘guesstimate’ that the Board of National Statistics base their predictions on –  is based solely on the ASKED & ADVERTISED price NOT actual sold price??  eg. a heading in the Malta Times 21st Feb 2014 states that  “Property Prices Rise In ALL Sectors!!”  When I spoke to the author of the stats report I could not believe that his whole foundation was what property prices had been advertised for…I’m no economist but even to me that does not sound right??? Advertised Property Prices and Asked For Property Prices are NOT SALE PRICES)) **And further articles in Sept 2015**

Where was I..?

It’s not all bad, let’s pull this around. How best to price your property for sale? 

  • A good agent will advice you.  They would have researched the market, seen what other properties are selling/sold for.  And can advice you accordingly. (irony of course is that they see the Advertised price!) They will if necessary get their own advice from an architect specialising in valuations.
  • Look at your competition.  Your competition is a similar property in a similar area.  Ask yourself ‘What would  make a buyer chose your property and not theirs?’  Bare in mind the ‘NOT RELEVANT’ above.
  • DO keep in mind that the sale of your property is a business transaction.  Leave all emotions to one side.
  • Understand that no matter how well marketed your property may be; if the price is wrong it will not sell.  Get competitive.

Remember: Location Location Location! 

But it is also:  Price Price Price!

 

 

* This is not referring to a full conversion or a shell being made habitable – any ‘substantial’ upgrading is positive to a certain degree**.  A new shower cubicle is; you guessed it …not relevant.

** There is a WHOLE other chapter on what to spend on renovations. It will be along the lines of “an apartment that is worth €199,000 is still worth €199,000 if you decide to put in a new kitchen worth €40,000 – your property is NOT now worth €239,000. I shall save that however for another day.

It’s a sad sight that I see whenever I drive through the main streets of Malta’s oldest towns and villages. Dozens of vacant properties line the streets there; soulless shells empty of human warmth and activity.

The wooden galleriji (traditional balconies) hang onto the dirty façades like warts on an elderly person’s face; the elements slowly taking their toll on what used to be a fine piece of craftsmanship.

It’s a scene that breaks the real estate agent’s heart.

Alone and forgotten

Is it true that main street properties are being abandoned? It seems like it.

Buildings that used to house large families with five, seven, sometimes even ten children under the same roof become, after the death of the parents, a cause of strife between the siblings.

Whilst the legal wrangling goes on, these houses languish in silence.

Don’t be fooled by the uninviting exterior. It is thought that the value of vacant properties around Malta runs into the billions of Euro, money that could be circulating in the economy in the form of revenue for the owners should they get their act together.

Unfortunately, despite this being quite a longstanding problem that has been blighting the Maltese real estate industry, there are as yet no clear legal structures in place that enable the government or authorities to seize abandoned buildings and reintroduce them to the market.

Understanding the roots of the problem

In Malta, nearly one in every three dwellings is permanently vacant. According to the most recent census, conducted in 2011, the localities with the highest number of vacant properties are historical cities like Valletta, Vittoriosa and Rabat (Gozo).

There may be social reasons why these main street properties have been lying uninhabited for so long.

Over the years, the population tended to move away from the town centre and disperse to the suburbs. The ‘push’ factors that led to this transformation can be attributed to greater mobility, more affluence and job opportunities.

Alas, the village or town centre is a place where tradition stays to die.

Another reason that discourages owners from taking care of their properties is that they are located in areas of historical interest. You cannot simply flatten a house and build a block of apartments in the village core.

For the owners, the potential profit of selling/renting out multiple apartment far outstrips that of selling the house in its current form. Thus they simply give up on the property discouraged by the costs of refurbishment and the prospect of a lengthy wait before breaking even.

A serious issue

It is in everybody’s interest that these properties are properly rehabilitated and put on the market. The reasons aren’t simply economic, but also social. Many of these buildings in their present state are hazardous and pose health risks.

The issue is a very complex one and a blanket approach isn’t possible since the reasons for abandonment of each property have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Whilst we’re still collectively racking our brains as a society to solve this problem, I bet that you won’t be looking at those old, derelict buildings in quite the same way from now on.

Child’s Bedroom

 Child’s Bedroom

A lot has changed in 30 years since I had my own daughter, back then the clothes, the bedroom the accessories were either pink for a girl or blue for a bowww.homesalemalta.com:2y;…(I’m not sure if she has ever forgiven me?) 

Thankfully todays fashion has tapped into our little darlings and the child’s bedroom can now be as stylish as the rest of your home.  Indeed the kids themselves are having a greater say in what goes on in their space. But would you hand over the paint roller unaided? –  probably not; but at several stages throughout your child’s life the bedroom is going to change; be it growing from crib to cot to first bed, moving house, or sharing with siblings.

So the idea is to let the child become involved in the process, children at age 4 can start to have colour insight and preferences, and at ages 7-9 their attitude is very much interactive and reactive to colour. Find out what they like and what they would want in their space. Don’t worry if they choose unsuitable colours for walls, (fluorescent green?) just let them know that it is a great colour choice but more suited to a chair or a desk. Then offer some other ideas.  Paint is a fabulous temporary medium, by painting old furniture in bright new colours you are extending the life of the piece and creating an original sample for your child’s room, and it can be changed as they grow older.

Black Ceiling Anyone?

If they choose black?  More typically the adolescent choice, admit it we have all been there! – explain that the effect would be akin to a dungeon or cellar…( a problem if that is the look they are going for) so suggest a compromise by painting just the one wall, or better still some large piece of furniture with blackboard paint, that way they can chalk and scribble all over it.

Theme-Crazy?

Try not to get trapped into the Theme, it’s easy to do when looking at catalogues and brochures of samples, but avoid the ballerina princess or football hero look with matching bedspreads/wallpaper and lampshades.  It is good to trust the imagination of your child ask what they would like and if it is the sporting hero? –  then put the images into picture frames.  This allows fads to be changed when the next hero comes along.

New Furniture

Getting carried away in the furniture store is always exciting.  But, I would always recommend visiting lots of stores or checking out online ideas.  The most crucial thing to do is to measure everything; the room and the furniture, make sure it is going to fit…take the tape to the store with you!  The same rule applies whether you are buying from Ikea or Investment pieces that will last your child for years.

www.homesalemalta.com

Get Cosy

A child’s bedroom makeover is the opportunity to create something special, cozy and private.  Loft beds are a huge attraction, allowing storage and desks to be underneath the actual sleeping area.  Not only does this free up floor space, but provides a wealth of opportunity for study, play and relaxation. Remember to keep storage at their height though, this should encourage tidiness..although no guarantee!

Mattress Options

It is tempting, when purchasing a new bed for your child, to get a cheaper mattress.  However try to get the best mattress you can afford, this will save you buying another in a year or two.  Remember your child is still growing and their bones need the best support possible.

Lighting

Remember to include various lighting options in the room, overhead of course, but remember the reading light too!

i)      Remember to always use water based latex Paint for walls and either latex or eggshell for furniture

ii)     If it were me decorating a child’s bedroom today, I would get a local carpenter in to make something bespoke.   Check out the loft scenarios on our Pinterest Board to get some ideas.

Malta is blessed with fabulous craftsmen/women.  You will be amazed at what you can commission for a bespoke piece to purchasing off the shelf in a store.

If you’re trying to sell or buy property, the number 1 priority on your list is probably to have a smooth, trouble-free experience.

Imagine just that. The perfect selling or buying scenario.

The perfect scenario

For sellers, your dream is probably to have your property listed in as many outlets as possible. Potential buyers just pour in to view your listing and you can’t keep up with offers! However, you quickly find the perfect match and in just a few weeks you hand over the keys to the new owner and ride off in the sunset with a cheque for the full value of your property.

No pesky commission fees or hidden charges; no binding contracts or exclusive tie-ins. You’re in total control of your property, and the agents you deal with are ultra-helpful and will take care to connect you with professionals (architects, lawyers, photographers, marketers) that can help you speed up the selling process.

Buyers, on the other hand, fantasise of having access to an open, transparent system where they can deal directly with the property owners and can view detailed photographs and floor plans to help them find the home of their dreams.

Back to real(i)ty*

Ah, that was nice until it lasted.

As you wake up from your reverie you realise that the reality in most cases is starkly different. High-street agencies rope you in with airtight exclusivity contracts that severely limit the coverage your property could be getting.

They step in between sellers and buyers, like a toll gate, controlling the flow of information and interaction between the two and pocketing outrageous commission fees for a privilege that wasn’t theirs to take.

At this point, you may be better off getting back to bed and into the world of dreams!

Thankfully, things are about to change.

Some dreams do come true

With the internet smashing communication barriers, connecting people and information together, and making it easier than ever to reach a wide audience, home sellers’ and buyers’ dreams have finally come true.

Home Sale Malta is the first locally-based real estate agency firm that eschews high-street practices for the freedom and transparency of the internet.

The Home Sale Malta experience

By shifting all our operations online, we have radically slashed the costs involved in connecting property sellers and buyers, such that for a flat €299 + vat fee you can list your property and have it reach an audience of thousands of potential buyers for a whole year.

Buyers can enjoy a wide list of great properties with professionally taken photographs and interactive 3D floor plans to satisfy their curiosity. We make no attempt to block communication between sellers and buyers, on the contrary, we do everything we can to encourage it!

Finally, we impose no contracts or sneaky charges on people who list their properties with us. Just a great service throughout, with constant support and advice to help sellers ride off into that sunset and buyers settle into their new home sweet home.

No more lost sleep over selling or buying property. It’s time to wake up to a wonderful new reality!

 

*Real estate puns ftw. 😉

Okay, so this article isn’t for the faint-hearted! Plenty of numbers and statistics follow (at least, more than usual) and I’ll discuss a couple of technical points about the Maltese and the UK property markets. First off, we’ll take a look at the overall conditions of both property markers and then delve into the specifics, such as ownership and rental legislation and round trip costs for property transactions. If you’re considering buying or selling property in either markets, then hopefully this information will serve as a primer to what lies ahead.

 

The state of markets

 

Malta Despite the improved economic outlook of the Maltese islands, based on statistics published by the National Statistics Office which show a 1.6% expansion at the beginning of 2013, the local property market is still reeling from the blow dealt to it by the global financial meltdown of 2008. Between 2000 and 2007, property prices were on a strong upward track, only to plummet by an average of 4.8% the following year. Luckily, the property market is showing signs of recovery as prices registered a 1.54% overall increase in the first quarter of 2013 according to data released by the Central Bank of Malta.

UK The situation in the UK on the other hand seems more optimistic. The property market has grown stronger there in recent years with prices in March 2014 increasing by 9.5% when compared to 2013. These strong national figures however conceal a widespread disparity in property prices across the UK. Whereas in Malta the market appreciates and depresses uniformly, in the UK there is a wide gap between London and the rest of the nation, with owners of property in the English capital enjoying the lion’s share of the economic improvement.

 

Property ownership and rental restrictions

People looking to buy property in either Malta or the UK, should also keep in mind legal differences in property ownership between the two besides the economic conditions. Malta takes a conservative position towards allowing foreign nationals to own property in the country. In fact, both foreign EU and non-EU citizens are only allowed to own ONE property on the islands, and this usually for occupancy reasons not for rental purposes. Property in Malta owned by foreign nationals can only be rented out if it is valued over €233,000, has a swimming pool and is registered with the Hotel and Catering Establishment Board. Even then, only short-term leases are permitted. There is a workaround for the one person-one property situation. The Maltese government does allow foreign nationals to buy more property from ‘specially designated areas’, including Tigne Point, Portomaso and Manoel Island.

 

Round trip costs

Another point to be aware of is the round trip cost for property in each country. In Malta there are moderate round trip costs involved in property transaction that range from 6.68% to 25.58% of the property value. These include a 5% stamp duty, commission fees that vary between 1% and 5% (excluding 18% VAT), and a 12% capital gains tax borne by the seller. The UK, on the other hand, has very low round trip transaction costs that vary between 3.88% and 12.26%. Legal fees typically account to more than 1% of the property value and commission fees hover between 2% and 3.5% (excluding 17.5% VAT).

 

Conclusion

The differences between the Maltese and UK property markets can be traced to a variety of underlying factors, including geographical size, economic policies and the legislative structures in place. Like in any other endeavour (particularly those involving hefty sums of money!) it pays to inform yourself about the general conditions, and eventually the nitty-gritty details, in order to make sounder and more profitable decisions.

If you spent some time browsing our website then you know that we do things a little bit differently here at Home Sale Malta.

Our company is the first entirely virtual real estate agency in Malta and our aim is to demolish the usual barriers of property marketing, (be that local or world wide) giving sellers the opportunity to benefit from all the advantages that websites and social media channels offer.

For the typical high-street agency, the internet is just an after thought; clumsily tacked onto their offline operations.

For us, the internet represents a whole new model of doing business, which is why we embraced it completely and put together a crack team of professionals who will ensure your property gets in front of a bigger audience.  World wide property marketing.

Global property coverage at minimal costs

Our team will market your property across dozens of the main local and foreign property listing websites, as well as social media platforms, without you having to sign a contract or enter in any exclusive tie-ins.

You can have all of that right now.

All you have to pay is an up-front seller’s fee of €299 (+ VAT). There are no hidden charges, no sneaky surprises… Just a one-time fee that works out at less than €0.97 a day, saving you THOUSANDS of euro in commissions while getting a superior service.

Spreading the word, all around the world

For your trust and a few seconds of your time to list your property on our website, we’ll advertise your property using all the main offline and online media.

We’ll publish classified ads on the local newspapers; upload your property listings on the major websites were all the buyers flock, like RightMove.com/overseas, Mondinion.com and TweedeWoning.eu; (more to be added) and prominently display your property on our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

A flexible, no strings attached method

If you’re not satisfied with having property viewed by literally thousands of buyers you can go ahead and advertise anywhere else you want.

We’ll cover all the important bases, but if you want to list your property on even more outlets we won’t stop you. Our goal is simply to give you the widest reach in the most convenient way possible at the lowest cost to help you sell your property as quickly as possible.

There are no binding contracts that limit the coverage of your property, so you’re free to reach as many potential buyers in as many ways as you like.

However, we believe you’ll be hard-pressed to find such a flexible method as ours! So go ahead and list your property on Home Sale Malta today. There are no risks and world of advantages waiting for you to enjoy. All for just €299.