Malta is benefitting from the negative outlook in the rest of the Europe, according to UK-based estate agent MaltaBuyProperty, who have reported their best start to the year for 3-4 years.
Managing Director Ray Woods believes that the doom and gloom inherent in countries around Europe including the UK and Ireland, is a major factor in keeping the property market in Malta buoyant.
He said: "What we are hearing from clients across Europe is that they are fed up of lectures from politicians about austerity. Life is short and they just want a good life for themselves, their children and their grandchildren.
"We have had our best start to the year for some time. Prices in Malta are stable and for those who have their cash resources in place, there is always scope for haggling on Malta.
"The local banks are also happy to provide mortgage finance with a minimum of bureaucracy.
"The well-publicised property and other tax increases in countries like France and not least – the weather in countries like the UK and Ireland are also fuelling demand.
"We are seeing more enquiries from clients in Cyprus, France, Italy, Spain and South Africa, concerned at both political and economic developments in those countries. We are also seeing an increase in enquiries from US buyers looking for a European base with good travel connections.
"Nearer to home, we have seen a return to the market of UK and Irish buyers of budgets with around 120,000 – 200,000 euros. Higher priced properties have continued to do well for the last 3-4 years generally.
"There is a growing trend towards buyers seeking to relocate permanently rather than acquire second homes – though this market is still doing well. This runs parallel with significant increases in commercial investment in Malta."
"The low taxes and fantastic life style are major attractions," continues Woods. "There are no annual property taxes, no inheritance or wealth taxes. The cost of buying a property at 7-8% is lower than in most of Malta's European neighbours. Italian clients have told me for example that they cannot believe how low those charges are compared to their own Country.
"Malta is politically stable and does not suffer from the extremes of weather in most countries.
"A keenly fought General Election takes place on March 9th, but even the Labour opposition has made it clear that they have no plans to upset arrangements which have served the Country well."
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