In normal areas
If you are a citizen of the EU and have lived in Malta continuously for at least five years, there is no need to ask for a permit to buy property. However, if you have not been a resident in Malta for a minimum of five years, you will need to apply for an Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit (AIP) as a secondary residence purpose.
If you are not a citizen of the EU you will not be able to acquire any immovable property without been granted an Immovable Property Permit.
In Special Designated Areas (SDAs)
Special Designated Areas are new, high-end developments where Maltese, EU and non-EU nationals can purchase property without an AIP. Expats buying property in these areas are entitled to the same rights as Maltese people. Furthermore, SDAs offer the best facilities and amenities, if you are looking to buy in an area full of restaurants, supermarkets, spas and other entertainment options. Property bought in an SDA isn't subject to the restrictions found in 'normal' areas, so foreigners are able to buy more than one property and to lease out property if they wish.
The current (2014) Special Designated Areas are the following:
- Portomaso Development, St. Julians, Malta
- Portomaso Extension I, St Julians, Malta
- Cottonera Development, Cottonera, Malta
- Tigne Point, Tigne, Malta
- Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha, Malta
- Madliena Village Complex, Malta
- SmartCity, Malta
- Fort Cambridge Zone, Tigne, Malta
- Ta’ Monita Residence, Marsascala, Malta
- Pender Place, St. Julians, Malta
- Metropolis Plaza, Gzira, Malta
- Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem, Gozo
- Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz, Gozo
- Vista Point, Marsalforn, Gozo