Frequently Asked Questions

The First Time Buyers’ Scheme has been offered by the government of Malta for many years and was recently renewed to cover property transfers until the end of 2021.
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 of 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.
*At the moment, anyone can benefit from a reduction on stamp duty when buying property before the end of the year, while registering the Promise of Sale by end of JULY
€200,000 | stamp duty = 0% = €0
€200,000 – €400,000 | stamp duty = 1.5%
Over €400,000 | stamp duty = 5%

The Second Time Buyers Scheme applies when a person sells their first property in order to acquire another residential property. The refund on stamp duty shall be of €3,000.

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
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
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, 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.
Estate Agent
An estate agent will help you to find the right property and negotiate the price with the seller. Your agent will also advise you on how to go about the legal obligations involved and can suggest other professionals.

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.

People who are residents with non-domicile status, with an income of €35,000 or more annually arising outside of Malta which is received in Malta, must pay a minimum of €5000 in tax. Regular tax rates apply to those with an income of less than €35,000 per year.

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.

The minimum property values are:

  • Flat/Maisonette: €136,972
  • Any other property: €236,582

These values were updated in August 2020, however, they may change according to the Property Price Index.

A 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.

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:
  • City Centre, St Julian’s, Malta
  • Southridge, Mellieha, Malta
  • Portomaso Development, St. Julians, Malta
  • Tigné Point, Tigné, Malta
  • Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha, Malta
  • Madliena Village Complex, Malta
  • Shoreline & SmartCity, Malta
  • Fort Cambridge Zone, Tignè, Malta
  • Ta’ Monita Residence, Marsascala, Malta
  • Pendergardens, St. Julians, Malta
  • St Angelo Mansions, Vittoriosa
  • Vista Point, Marsalforn, Gozo
  • Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem, Gozo
  • Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz, Gozo
  • Stamp duty 5%*
  • Notarial fee around 1%
  • 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.

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