Malta’s hidden treasures
The central Mediterranean island of Malta has been a popular secondhome destination for British buyers for years, partly due to its underlying Britishness – driving on the left, English spoken by most, use of the English legal system, and even red telephone boxes.
Perhaps it’s also down to the crystal-clear sea, which is warm from May to November, as well as good, inexpensive food and wine, and a diverse and rich heritage. A minnow when compared with nearby Sicily – at just seven miles long and nine miles wide, with a population of around 420,000 packed on – it is also a far better property investment.
“Malta is not a cheap destination, but the property market is doing very well and prices have been increasing steadily, last year by 5 to 6 per cent across the board,” says Grahame Salt of Homes of Quality, an estate agent (homesofquality.com.mt). The number of sales has also increased dramatically, especially to investors, as the island has a very strong rental market.
Overseas buyers often buy a smart apartment in one of the new developments around the popular areas of St Julian’s and Sliema, in A two-bedroom town house with skylights, a central courtyard and a roof garden. €372,000 Frank Salt (00356 2379 4000; franksalt.com.mt) A restored home with solar power, four bedrooms and a big terrace.
Buyers are discovering old gems that come with tax breaks, writes Mary Wilson
€795,000 Engel & Völkers (00356 2347 0000; engel voelkers.com)