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What is the First Time Buyers' Scheme?

The First Time Buyers’ Scheme has been offered by the government of Malta for many years.
Under the First Time Buyers’ Scheme, no stamp duty is charged on the first €200,000 of the price of the property.
This means that first-timers can save €7,000. Buyers purchasing their first residential property will only pay 5% stamp duty on the balance above €200,000 and the price of the property.
For example, a first-time buyer is purchasing a property worth €280,000. On the first €200,000 the buyer will pay no stamp duty. On the remaining €80,000 the buyer will pay at a rate of 5%.
€200,000 | stamp duty = 0% = €0
€80,000 | stamp duty = 5% = €4,000
No stamp duty is charged on movable property (furniture) within the purchase.

What is the Second Time Buyers Scheme?

The Second Time Buyers Scheme applies when a person sells their property and acquires another residential property within 1 year. The refund on stamp duty shall be €3,000.

What is the Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) Permit?

EU citizens

If an EU citizen is purchasing property in Malta as their primary residence, they do not need an AIP permit.
If an EU citizen has resided in Malta for more than 5 years, then they will not require an AIP permit.
If an EU citizen is purchasing property in Malta as a second home (and therefore not as a primary residence), then they will require an AIP permit, unless they have resided in Malta for more than 5 years.

Non-EU citizens

Non-EU citizens require an AIP permit to buy a property in Malta, except if they are buying in an SDA.

The minimum property values to acquire an AIP permit are:

  • Flat/Maisonette: €153,018
  • Any other property: €264,296

These values were updated in August 2022, however, they may change according to the Property Price Index.

fee of €233 is charged per permit. The permit is usually issued within 35 days.

The application form for this permit can be found here. You will find more info here.

What professional services are required when purchasing property in Malta?

When purchasing property, you will need the services of trusted professionals to get the process done correctly. Choosing the right professionals will save you time and money, while also ensuring you don’t find problems further down the line.
The architect will inspect the property and make sure there are no irregularities or structural issues, and that everything is up to standard. Your architect will also be able to provide you with a valuation of the property.
Your notary will draw up the contract and make sure that the seller is legally allowed to transfer the property, and that there is no obligation upon it. The notary will also register the sale with the Public Registry.
Property Consultant
A property consultant will help you to find the right property and negotiate the price with the seller. Your consultant will also advise you on how to go about the legal obligations involved and can suggest other professionals.

What is the process of buying property in Malta?

After you have found the right property, viewed it, and your offer has been accepted by the seller, the process of purchasing the property begins.
  1. Promise of Sale (also known as Preliminary Agreement or Konvenju in Maltese)
  2. Final Contract of Sale

How does renting a property in Malta work?

  1. Speak to a reputable rental agent and make sure you determine your budget, ideal locations, and what features you require in your rental home
  2. Your rental agent will take you to view properties, hopefully, you will find one which is right for you
  3. Once the landlord and tenant agree, terms are set down in the letting agreement and a deposit must be paid to the landlord (usually equivalent to one month’s rent)
  4. Both the landlord and the tenant must pay the letting agent the equivalent of half a month’s rent plus VAT
  5. The tenant usually pays the rent each month

How does home financing work?

When it comes to buying your first home in Malta, you may need to get a bank loan as financing. You will need 10% of the purchase price to put down as front finance. The rest of the funding is usually arranged as a bank loan from top local banks, with monthly repayments.

Your budget will be determined by your income, but keep in mind that you will have other expenses related to buying property, such as notary fees, utility bills, and regular living expenses. You will also be required to purchase life insurance to cover the value of the property.

What is the rate of stamp duty for purchasing a property in a UCA (Urban Conservation Area)?

Buyers not requiring an AIP permit do not pay Stamp Duty on properties situated in a UCA (Urban Conservation Area) for the first €750,000.

Is there a beneficial tax rate when purchasing property in Gozo?

Yes, there is a reduction in stamp duty when buying property in Gozo. The stamp duty is reduced from 5% to 2%.

What expenses are involved in purchasing a property?

  • Stamp duty 5%*
  • Notarial fee is approximately 0.5% (not including disbursements and searches)
  • Searches (the cost of searches varies on a case-by-case basis)
  • AIP (where applicable) €233 plus professional fees for an accountant, auditor, lawyer, etc.
  • Recognition fee equivalent to one year’s ground rent (only applicable to properties subject to ground rent)

*Some reductions may apply depending on the purpose of the purchase.

Real estate agency fees are usually the responsibility of the vendor, however, ask your agent to confirm.

What are Special Designated Areas (SDAs)?

When buying property in an SDA, the AIP permit is not necessary. Anyone may buy property in Malta within special designated areas, without restrictions or permits.
The current special designated areas are:
  • Gozo, Fort Chambray
  • Gozo, Kempinski Residences
  • Gozo, Vista Point
  • Gzira, Metropolis Plaza
  • Gzira, Manoel Island
  • Kalkara, SmartCity
  • Madliena, Madliena Village
  • Marsascala, Ta’Monita Residence
  • Mellieha, Southridge
  • Mellieha, Tas-Sellum Residence
  • Mriehel, The Quad Business Towers
  • Naxxar, Targa Square
  • Rabat, Verdala Terraces
  • Sliema, Fort Cambridge
  • Sliema, Tigne Point Residences
  • St Julian’s, Mercury Suites
  • St Julian’s, Mercury Towers
  • St Julian’s, Pender Gardens
  • St Julian’s, Portomaso
  • Vittoriosa, St Angelo Mansions
  • Xemxija, Mistra Heights

What is the Energy Performance Certificate?

When buying property in Malta, the law requires that the seller presents an energy performance certificate to the buyer. This document informs the buyer about the energy performance of a building. Certificates are prepared by a qualified assessor who is registered with the Building Regulation Office. The certificate is valid for 10 years unless there are significant changes made to the building.

What is the Promise of Sale?

The Promise of Sale is a document drawn up by a notary which sets down the terms of the sale, including:
  • Price
  • Ground rent (if any)
  • Deposit
  • Payment terms
  • Any works to be undertaken by the owner
  • Any extras included in the price, such as furniture
  • Date of the final contract (usually 3 months after the Promise of Sale)
  • Any additional terms

The Promise of Sale is binding on both parties.