South Africa is being targeted by Maltese real estate companies because of the potential for South Africans to get a Uniform Residence Permit which will allow the holder to travel throughout the Schengen zone without a visa, said Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Residential SA.
Because of this, Belair Property, based in Malta, have approached Knight Frank Residential to team up to market property investment options available in Malta.
"This is a very attractive investment proposition for those who are frequent travellers because it cuts out the very onerous and expensive requirements for visas," she said.
Anyone investing in property in Malta can take up residence by obtaining a certificate from the Inland Revenue Department, and this is issued for an indefinite period as long as certain conditions are met annually. Holders of these certificates can, therefore, live there indefinitely and enter and leave as many times as they want without any other formalities, said Steward.
In order to apply for this certificate:
A person must own worldwide capital of at least €349,000 (or the equivalent) or have an annual income of not less than €23,000 (or equivalent) arising outside Malta. The permit holder is also required to remit to Malta a minimum of €13,950 per annum plus €2,300 for each dependant, including the spouse. The minimum remittances must not be repatriated out of Malta.
In addition to this, a holder of a Residents' Scheme certificate is required to purchase or lease property in Malta, having the following minimum values:
- Purchase of an apartment to the value of €69,000;
- Purchase of a house: €116,000; or
- Lease a residence for €4,150 per annum.
"Bank loans are available to those who qualify and you have the ability to let the apartment you buy for much of the year, if you choose to do so," said Steward.
Another way of investing in property could be as a foreign national, which means that the applicant goes through the same processes as a Maltese national but has to get an Acquisition of Immovable Property permit if the buyer has not lived there for five years or more. If the property is in a Special Designated Area, though, this is not necessary.
Foreign nationals can only purchase property in Malta which has a value greater than €105,000 for apartments or maisonettes and €155,000 for houses or villas and they can only purchase one property for residential purposes at a time, unless the property forms part of a SDA.
Belair Property representatives are currently in South Africa and will be hosting an informative evening on the 24th October at 5:30pm at Kelvin Grove, where the Honorary Consul will be attending and will possibly be able to answer any questions from prospective investors.
Those interested in attending should call Helen Oosthuizen on 021 671 9120.