Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Valletta needs you

As you get lost in the streets and alleys of this World Heritage City, you can't help but notice that quite a few of the properties, some palatial in both size and style, seem to be empty and in need of some TLC. Have you always dreamt of embarking on a Grand Designs type of project? According to, this is the perfect time to invest in a property in Malta.

It takes flair and courage, and most of all, it takes patience. Mediterranean style red tape and a laid back attitude towards work are two things you will need to learn to deal with. Sometimes you will also face a little bit of corruption at all levels and, at that point you will need to make decisions as to what's best to do - it is sometimes not as straight cut as one thinks.

An architect specialised in old properties, who knows his/her stuff can save you a lot of hassle. I have been in "restored" houses where such a lot of irretrievable damage has been done to the structure and integrity of the building that you feel like screaming out "idiots". A builder or even a mason who does not consult the architect because he thinks he knows it all is trouble waiting to happen. Don't even touch him with a barge pole.

I have a feeling that Global Property Guide's claim that Malta is "in the group of countries that has suffered from the most severe drops in property prices" is slightly exaggerated. In appearance I have not really noticed the decrease in prices GPG mentions.

...for people who are keen to own a home on one of the most popular islands for UK holidaymakers the recession could provide the opportunity to get a great bargain. Global Property Guide, along with almost every other industry watcher, doesn’t predict any significant upturn in the property market in 2009.

For those whose capital is not in EURO, they might have a problem:

Maltese property buyers are having to deal with the fact that the Euro has gained so significantly in strength against Sterling in the past six months, so the drop in prices is likely to offset this to some extent. In addition, the possibility of a rally in the value of the Pound against other currencies later in the year should mean that property in the Eurozone becomes cheaper for UK buyers, and may help the beginnings of a recovery for property prices.

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