What it means purchasing a property at a Special Designated Area at Malta?

What it means purchasing a property at a Special Designated Area at Malta?

Special Designated Areas are prime residency areas where the conditions of acquisition are the same for Maltese and foreign residents. Property in Special Designated Areas is intended to provide top-end facilities and amenities such as restaurants, supermarkets, spas and marinas within the same area.

No permits necessary

Special Designated Areas provide an exception to the rules on residency permits in Malta, in that non-Maltese purchasers may buy property with the same rights as Maltese citizens, thus not requiring a permit from the Maltese government. Essentially this means that purchasers, whatever their nationality, are exempt from the requirement of obtaining an Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) permit. Once such property is acquired, it may be rented out without any restrictions.

On the other hand, non Maltese residents and nationals acquiring a property located outside of the Special Designated Areas necessitate an Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) Permit issued by the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Investment, which is issued according to the conditions set in Maltese Law.

Buying a holiday home

Special Designated Areas give EU nationals the possibility of buying a secondary home, typically a holiday home, in Malta without necessitating a permit.

This does not apply in the case of other properties in Malta, where EU citizens who have not resided in Malta for a minimum period of 5 years require a permit if the property being bought will not be used as the primary residence. In this context a distinction must be drawn between the terms “primary residence” and “first residence”, with the latter designating the first purchase whilst the former denotes a person's main dwelling. Since a person can only have one primary residence at a given time, unless the purchaser will effectively live on a permanent basis in the place being bought, the property is not considered as a primary residence but a secondary one, in which case, an AIP permit is required.

Immediate access to facilities

Another advantage from a practical point of view is the immediate access to facilities within close proximity that these areas offer. Having been built specifically to cater for the needs of non-Maltese residents, these developments offer close entertainment areas, the amenities of a metropolitan centre and increased accessibility to facilities with all the comfort and security of a very exclusive community.

Within the development, parking facilities are typically exclusive to the residents and their guests with access to the property being limited to private roads within the area itself.

AIP PERMIT

Maltese and EU Citizens – both with 5 years continuous residence in Malta

Maltese and EU Citizens – without 5 years continuous residence in Malta

Non-Maltese and

Non-EU citizens

Primary Residence

No restrictions – No need to apply

No restrictions – No need to apply

Prior authorisation is required*

Secondary Residence or any other immovable property

No restrictions – No need to apply

Prior authorisation is required*

Prior authorisation is required*

Property in a Special Designated Area**

No prior authorisation is required and no limit

No prior authorisation is required and no limit

No prior authorisation is required and no limit

Immovable Property required for the person's business activities' or supply of services by such person

No prior authorisation is required and no limit

No prior authorisation is required and no limit

No permit granted

*A permit will not be granted if applicant has already acquired immovable property in Malta – an exception however lies with 'Special Designated Areas'

** The Special Designated Areas are the following:

  • Portomaso Development, St. Julian's, Malta
  • Portomaso Extension I, St Julian's, Malta
  • Cottonera Development, Cottonera, Malta
  • Manoel Island / Tigne Point, Tigne/ Gzira, Malta
  • Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha, Malta
  • Madliena Village Complex, Malta
  • Smartcity, Malta
  • Fort Cambridge Zone, Tignè, Malta
  • Ta' Monita Residence, Marsascala, Malta
  • Pender Place and Mercury House Site, Malta
  • Metropolis Plaza, Gzira, Malta
  • Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem, Gozo
  • Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz, Gozo
  • Pender Place and Mercury House Site, Extensions I, II, III, IV and V, Malta
  • Vista Point, Marsalforn, Gozo

The purchased property must be intended for one of the following:

  • Personal residential use of the applicant exclusively;
  • Other purposes approved by Government;
  • An approved industrial or touristic project;
  • Any other project or purpose which is considered to contribute to the development of the Maltese economy.
27 Sep 2019

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