Feature: Malta tops International Living's 2011 Quality of Life Index
Malta has done it again, topping the charts of International Living’s Quality of Life Index. The overseas property magazine annually compiles a list of countries which make an ideal destination for those looking at buying a property abroad. The list is based on feedback received from the magazine’s readers as well as from a number of surveys carried out by the editorial team. A number of indicators are used ranging from climate and health care to cost of living, culture, safety and so on.
For 2011, Malta has achieved the second place position, along with New Zealand. It is followed by France, Monaco, Belgium and France amongst the 191 countries that participated. Of the two, Malta is our favourite, says International Living magazine Editor Eoin Bassett. “But with 5.2 hours of sunshine a day, a stable government and economy, Malta is a very strong draw for expats. And it’s English-speaking.” Malta was also voted first where it comes to the climate factor.
The big question is, what can this island offer prospective residents? Well, how about a tranquil way of life and virtually non-existent crime? Year-round Mediterranean sunshine? The opportunity to benefit from a considerable reduction in your tax burden?
Anchored almost in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, 60 miles from the Italian island of Sicily, frost and snow are mostly unknown in Malta, and the temperature nudges 25 degrees Celsius even in November. Crime hardly exists, the locals are hospitable and the health care is excellent. There aren’t any property taxes, and foreign nationals who benefit most from living here are those who retain earnings from elsewhere that they then elect to get taxed in Malta, at 15%.
Access to the island of Malta is always of importance to foreign investors investing in Malta, and with the introduction of a good number of low-cost airlines over the last 5 years, such as Ryanair and Easyjet, the increase in the volume of visitors to Malta has increased rapidly, not only where it comes to tourists, but also to property buyers who see in Malta a relaxing, yet vibrant home away from home. The introduction of the Euro in 2008 has also been a plus, and whilst it has not radically influenced property prices of real estate in Malta, it has made the passing of trade much easier.
These are just some of the advantages to living in the Republic of Malta. What’s more, very often there is no need to learn a foreign language given that everybody on the islands speaks English as a second language.
And what kind of property is mostly on demand? Pretty much everything as a matter of fact, be it villas and apartments, or typical houses of character and farmhouses. The beauty of property in Malta is that it is so varied. Whether you are after a trendy seafront apartment in the heart of the island, or a cosy, secluded, 300 year old house in a remote village like Siggiewi or Rabat, Malta is sure to offer a buoyant supply. And in a country which is the third most populous in the world but with limited space, government and developers are constantly finding means of how to take advantage of space without tarnishing what rural land is still available and untouched by development. Nowadays you get beautifully set developments such as Hal Saghtrija and Tas-Sellum, built in a way to perfectly camouflage in their respective valleys and cliffs, or Portomaso, Tigne Point, Fort Cambridge and Pendergardens consciously embedded in the harbour areas of St Julians and Sliema, also Malta’s urban hot-spots. Such developments offer immediate proximity to the island’s business and commercial centres, yet still offering full privacy and detachment from the ongoing frantic way of life. And when you complement this with all modern luxuries and amenities, and breathtaking views of the sea and harbour areas, what more do you want in life?