Malta and the Maltese Islands
Hub of Mediterranean
Surrounded by crystal clear sea and blessed with sun for most of the year it’s no secret that Malta is a jewel in the middle of the Mediterranean. But Malta isn’t just sun and fun! Its rich history dates back about 7,000 years and the earliest temples pre-date Stonehenge and the pyramids.
Malta’s strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean has always been coveted by all the major powers throughout the region. Past empires from the Phoenicians to the Romans, the Knights of Malta and more recently the British Empire have all left their own indelible mark on Malta giving it its rich history.
You’ll come across historical sites and architectural gems around every corner. The varied scenery and the wealth of things to do and places to visit during your stay here will keep you wishing you had time to fit in more.
So very close
With the Maltese Islands being within a couple of hours from most central European airports, and with many scheduled and low-fare airlines linking Malta to many other countries, getting here could not be easier.
Getting around …is easy!
You can use the public transport system which connects all cities, towns and villages from one to another. You can find bus stops all over the island and all you need to do is ask the locals for the nearest bus stop. As of July 2011 a new company responsible for the whole public transport system introduced new, modern buses replacing the old, iconic and sometimes eccentric orange buses of the past which for years have been admired by tourists and locals alike.
If you are up for it and prefer to be more independent, you can also hire a car. We drive on the left and follow speed limits of 40 kph in urban areas and 60 kph on open roads. All road signs are in English and normal international laws of the road apply.
If you are travelling to Gozo there are frequent ferries daily between Cirkewwwa in the north of Malta and Mgarr in Gozo. The service caters for pedestrian and car passengers and the trip usually takes about 20 minutes. Schedules for the service vary according to the time of the year and may also be subject to weather conditions.
Alternatively, you can book a seat on the seaplane which links the Grand Harbour in Valetta to Mgarr Harbour in Gozo.
You can also catch a ferry between Sliema and Valletta with frequent ferry trips linking Valletta and the Strand in Sliema just in front of the ESE Land’s End apartments.
Walking and cycling around Malta is quite easy. Distances are short because Malta is so small and locals will be very helpful to set you on the right track if you get lost – all you have to do is ask. Walking from the main ESE school to Sliema will take you just under 30 minutes!
Malta—“Every Day is Like a Holiday”
We aren’t surprised that our island has been ranked the third best country in the world to live in by International Living magazine.
Apart from the country’s numerous other virtues, we are well known for our hospitality to tourists. Malta also has a healthcare system to boast about and is statistically proven to have a low crime rate. In comparison to some other European countries, it has a relatively low cost of living.
Gozo – another jewel
Gozo is the second largest and inhabited island of the Maltese archipelago with a population of some 35,000. Gozo is less developed and is a must-see if you want more tranquillity and a slower pace of life needing to get away from it all.
World Heritage Sites
There are three sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List which are popular tourist attractions. These are:
Valletta – Malta’s capital city – European Capital of Culture 2018.
Immediately after the end of the Siege of Malta in 1565, the Order of th
e Knights of Malta built a new city, Valletta, on the Xiberras peninsula so as to strengthen their defenses and fortify the Order’s position in Malta. The foundation stone of Valletta was laid by the Grandmaster of the Order, Jean Parisot de la Valette on 28 March 1566, in Our Lady of Victories Church. Considering that Valletta is one of Europe’s smallest capital cities it has such a wealth of historical buildings with many churches, palaces and monuments. In fact, the city is so small that all the main sights can easily be reached on foot.
Places worth special mention are St John’s Co-Cathedral, The Grand Master’ s Palace, the Upper and Lower Barakka Gardens with views of the harbours flanking the peninsula of Valletta. Valletta is essentially baroque in character with a symmetrical grid-like road system.
Valletta was awarded the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture 2018.
The 7 megalithic temples
The 7 megalithic temples date back to the period between 3,600 BC and 2,500 BC and are found on the islands of Malta and Gozo. The Ggantija temples are known to be the oldest, free-standing monuments in the world and are said to pre-date the Egyptian pyramids by at least 1,000 years. Other temples are the temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Tarxien, Ta’ Hagrat and Skorba.
Malta is holidaying as the mood takes you. And with near year-round sun, you can indulge in outdoor living at its best.
Property Investments in MALTA
In last 3 years, Malta has seen an influx of foreign nationals moving to Malta, be it to retire, to relocate or to work here, has paved the way for a new golden opportunity – rental investment. The growth of niche industries such as gaming, pharmaceuticals, back-end office operations and financial services has led to a strong surge in demand for rental properties.
What’s more, Malta is an ideal destination where to retire or relocate to is on the rise, with many opting to rent, and eventually, invest in their own property. Local demand also factors in with many breaking traditions and opting to rent out. This is a widespread trend amongst the younger generation who prefer to rent out before purchasing their own property, as well as for single parents and separation scenarios.
This is a good reason that many have already seen the investment potential in Malta, which is two-fold: holding property as a secure investment that will retain its price and appreciate in the long term, and a steady stream of income in the form of rental payments. Factor in the excellent choice of good value property available at the moment and the attractive interest rates on home loans, and surely the recipe for a solid rental investment cannot be more fool-proof.
But what kind of rental return is one to expect? At present this is estimated at between 3.5% to 6% per annum. It very much depends on the type of property in question, the location and more importantly the level of finishing and furniture within the rental investment. Many prefer to rent out properties that are in the proximity of their workplace with Sliema, Msida, St Julians, Gzira and the surroundings being most sought after. Special Designated Areas, such as Portomaso, Pendergardens, Tigne Point and Fort Cambridge are popular high-end options, however smaller units in the region of €120,000 to €180,000 can still yield very attractive returns. Proper finishing and modern furniture is a plus, with all common appliances and daily commodities being expected by the tenant. This does not need to scare off potential landlords as options are now available where one may furnish a complete rental investment property from just over €15,000. In addition to this, various companies, such as Frank Salt Real Estate, can also help with the management of the property, turning the entire undertaking and day-to-day running into a piece of cake.
One final aspect to keep in mind when considering a rental investment is that whilst the loan repayment is likely to remain constant over time, inflation and the cost of living are likely to keep rising and population growth and demand for property from overseas will keep creating demand. This ultimately drives up rents, especially if supply cannot keep up with the pace – which is what Malta is experiencing right now.