The Cost Of Living In Malta
Compared to other EU countries, the cost of living in Malta is relatively low. Having hardly been affected from the recession, Malta’s economy is in good shape – making it the ideal place for foreign investment in the heart of the Mediterranean.
Malta’s lifestyle has improved considerably over the years. People are living longer, healthcare is excellent, unemployment rates are at an all-time low, wining and dining is world-class, and education is free.
Living In Malta
Maltese wages are comparatively lower than most countries in the European Union, but when you are working within a niche market such as Finance, Gaming and Software development amongst other in demand expertise this differs. The cost of living has been slowly increasing over the years, but it’s still at a manageable level. According to research, roughly 15% of Malta’s inhabitants live below the poverty line, but an extended support structure helps most to live somewhat comfortably. Most expats are usually pleasantly surprised with prices in Malta, considering they’re used to paying prices in a country with a higher standard of living. This means that expats can live really well in Malta, enjoying seafront apartments or large villas, al fresco dining, holidays abroad, 300 annual days of sunshine and a truly unbeatable Mediterranean lifestyle.
Cost of day to day Amenities
Many people that move to Malta can not believe the cost of day to day items. To give you an idea the cost of a half pint of beer is around about €1.50 whereas Maltese bread would cost about € 0.50 cents. A carton of Milk is around €0.70 cents. Eating out is also generally cheap with a Ribeye Steak €15 – 20.00 for 300 grams, Pizza or Pasta for €6.00 – €8.00 at a restaurant thus eating out with a bottle of wine for two may cost in the region of between € 50.00 – €80.00. Of course, there is also the fine dining element in Malta which is exquisite and also affordable.
Highly Qualified Persons Rules
If you are working in Malta with a company licensed and/or recognized by the Malta Financial Services Authority, companies licensed by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority and undertakings holding an Air Operators’ Certificate or an Aerodrome Licence issued by the Authority for Transport in Malta than you may qualify for Highly Qualified Persons Rules. This rule was adapted to fill in the gap of expertise within the industry to attract foreign talent and one that qualifies will only be liable to 15% tax. For further information https://ird.gov.mt/taxguides/qualifiedpersons.aspx
Surviving the Recession
Much to the delight of the Maltese population, the credit crunch failed to significantly affect the standard of living here. The Maltese economy proved to be resilient to the recession thanks to a strong banking sector and sturdy domestic demand. Economic growth did suffer, but only for a short period of time. The aftermath of the recession has increased the cost of living slightly, but it’s still low in comparison. With a steadily rising GDP, the economic situation is looking good.
Healthcare & Housing
Maltese citizens are lucky enough to benefit from excellent medical services, with the World Health Organisation placing Malta 5th in its healthcare ranking system. If you’re travelling from a European country with free healthcare and you’re in possession of your European Health Insurance Card, you’ll be treated as you would be back in your homeland. For those not in possession of an EH111 card, (including non-EU citizens or those whose healthcare system is not free in their own country), medical fees will apply, until citizenship is successful.
Cost of Housing
With regards to the property market, the cost to rent a property is still quite low when compared to the rest of major European Cities, whilst real estate prices are more reasonable than the average town in Europe. The cost of housing on the other hand according to the Real Estate Insights report is 14% cheaper than that of Europe with the Maltese claiming their cost of Mortgage and Bills average out at 26% where the average European says their cost is that of 40%..
Expect to pay higher prices when purchasing property in popular areas like Sliema, St Julian’s, Valletta and within the three Special Designated areas of Portomaso, Fort Cambridge, Tigne Point and Pender Gardens located within these three prime locations for expatriates. Price for a rental property in Popular towns start at €500 for a one bedroom apartment, €750 for a two bedroom apartment and €850 for a three bedroom apartment, whereas to purchase a property you are looking at starting prices of €250, 000 for a one bedroom apartment, €300, 000 for a two bedroom apartment and €350, 000 for a three bedroom apartment. There are variants depending on the finishings however if you take this as a guideline than you will be safe. Should you want to live outside the popular cities prices may be 50% cheaper across the board. It is recommend to speak to a real estate agent for professional guidance.