The next time your watching a film chances are you're looking at a Maltese setting. Hundreds of famous films have been shot on the island including, recently, The Da Vinci Code, Gladiator and Troy. More bizarely, even scenes for TV soap Coronation Street have been filmed there too.
And because so many films give it free exposure, it’s inevitable that the Mediterranean isle of Malta has become a favoured destination for second homes buyers and holiday makers, says sales and marketing director James Vassallo at Tigne Point in Valletta.
“The British love it here, because English is the official language, everything’s well regulated and you’re only ten minutes maximum from anywhere else on the island, as it measures only 16 by eight miles,” he says.
Vassallo says if you buy at a certain price point - £334,619 upwards at Tigne Point, for instance – you only pay 15% property tax.
“You can buy for less (£117,117 on his scheme) if you don’t want to qualify as a resident, but you’ll pay more tax.”
Other pluses include no capital gains tax on your primary residence if you’ve relocated, no inheritance tax and no rates or council tax.
Prices vary depending on the type of property, says Joseph Sullivan from Fine & Country Malta, from about £293,000 for an apartment up to £6.275 million for a grand villa overlooking the sea.
The £1.255 million apartments at St Angelo Mansions by Grand Harbour are “popular with Brits who like to live by the water but not venture far from an urban centre”, according to Andrew Hawkins from Chesterton Humberts International.
Hawkins also tips property like Bamboo Farm House on more tranquil Gozo at £1.84 million, and modern homes in Mellieha that appeal to families and young people.
Another gem coming to the market is a typical Gozitan townhouse over three levels on Castle Hill, with views of The Citadel, a walled city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The price is yet to be determined by local owner Victoria Attard, who can be contacted on +356 998 790 20, email@example.com.