Your guide to investing in a home on Malta’s stunning sister isle
Gozo is a firm favourite as a holiday destination for both locals and foreign visitors. Peaceful and picturesque, Malta’s smaller sister island offers a quiet escape across the water, away from the hustle and bustle of the larger population of the mainland.
Plus, with a huge range of properties that are ideal as second homes, permanent holiday residences in the Mediterranean or lucrative investment opportunities, Gozo is an attractive prospect for potential homeowners.
With the expert guidance of RE/MAX Malta, here is all you need to know when considering the purchase of a property on the beautiful island of Gozo.
At just 14km long and 7.25km wide, the island of Gozo is far smaller than Malta and boasts a more rural landscape, with a countryside that features dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches and quaint villages.
While it shares the vibrant culture, unique traditions and delicious cuisine of the Maltese mainland, Gozo’s open and friendly inhabitants also enjoy a significantly more laidback lifestyle than their Maltese counterparts. Tourists and locals are drawn to unhurried days spent in Gozo indulging in leisurely coffee mornings and lunches at one of the island’s many restaurants and cafeterias, before soaking up the sun on the beach, taking a swim in the exquisitely warm sea and dining al fresco at sunset.
There is also plenty to delight trekking, rambling and cycling enthusiasts, as well as scuba divers and snorkellers of all abilities who – with the help of one of the many local diving schools – can explore the underwater world below the famously crystal clear, turquoise blue sea water.
Gozo can be easily reached from Malta via several convenient and affordable transport links. According to a user-friendly seasonal schedule, a ferry service regularly operates to take both passengers and – if they wish – their vehicles from Cirkewwa in Malta to Mgarr in Gozo, for the short and scenic 20-minute journey across the water. The Gozo Fast Ferry service also offers seated passengers without vehicles another quick option to travel to Mgarr in Gozo from Valletta.
With such an easy commute, Gozo is a great place to live for those who work in Malta and wish to take advantage of the island’s many business centres, or who need to travel often to the rest of the Europe via the numerous direct flights operating out of Malta International Airport. A home in Gozo offers the best of both worlds: a well-connected international business hub in Malta, easily accessible from a quiet and charming Mediterranean island that inspires a far slower pace of life.
Much like Malta, the property market in Gozo is consistently strong and buoyant, making any place bought on the island a solid investment.
Real estate prices in Gozo also remain significantly lower than for equivalent homes on the mainland, so your money may stretch a little further. The price of an apartment in some locations in Malta may even pay for a farmhouse or luxury townhouse in certain parts of Gozo.
The steady and strong economy of both Malta and Gozo – often eclipsing those of other European countries – is also largely due to the stable real estate market found across the archipelago, created by consistent demand from foreign and local investors and visitors. Depending on the specific purchase, return on investment on places of residence bought in Gozo tends to be high, particularly if the property is offered as a rental throughout the year.
RE/MAX Malta has an extensive database of properties available for sale in Gozo. This charming island has the ideal home for everyone, whatever their tastes, requirements and budget. While Gozo has become well-known for its luxurious and expertly converted farmhouses for short- or long-let holiday rentals, there is always demand for each of the different types of property available on the island.
Apartments remain a popular option in Gozo. The huge range of apartments widely available across the island offer both convenience and affordability, with some close to the seafront for greater accessibility to the beach and others in the heart of countryside towns, ideal to better experience the local customs and amenities. Apartments also give a larger range of options according to specific requirements such as a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms, or a penthouse with luxury finishings and outdoor private entertainment space to make the most of the spectacular Gozitan view.
Just as widely available in Gozo as apartments – and offering the same convenience of apartment living – maisonettes are another comfortable, convenient cost-effective property option. These homes are also situated within apartment-style buildings, yet they have an independent entrance with their own front door and sometimes include outdoor or roof space.
Traditional townhouses in Malta and Gozo look quite different from those found anywhere else in the world. Characterised by colourful wooden balconies, charming stonework and front doors decorated with intricate brass door knocks and handles, these timeless properties offer a glimpse into Gozo’s past. Each one might have a small garden or courtyard, with several floors as well as a roof area to offer both space and privacy. Their convenient town location also affords easy access to local amenities.
Some houses of character in Gozo might be as much as 500 years old, with each typically including eye-catching stone architecture and original features. These quirky properties are ideal for those who either hope to add their own personal touch to the décor via renovation, or who wish to find a place that has already been extensively renovated while retaining its historic charm.
Of all the property types, Gozo may well be best known for its farmhouses. With some dating back centuries, these large and spacious buildings once served surrounding farmland, which today has transformed into rolling countryside on the outskirts of local towns and villages. Many have been expertly converted into luxury homes complete with modern comforts, finishings and appliances, as well as desirable extras such as a private outdoor space or swimming pool with deck for relaxing and entertainment. Gozo farmhouses remain Malta’s favourite go-to rental home for quick weekend getaways or to celebrate family occasions in style, so demand for these unique properties is consistently strong.
Gozo also has exclusive developments known as Special Designated Areas (SDAs), which are complexes that are exempt from local restrictions regarding foreign real estate ownership, allowing foreign nationals to buy and rent out properties they own within these areas.
Gozo currently has three SDAs, namely Fort Chambray in Ghajnsielem, Kempinski Residences in San Lawrenz and Vista Point in Marsalforn. Each of these luxury developments offers a unique flavour of Gozo’s history and culture, in premium locations near the seafront, countryside or a town. Properties situated within SDAs are also finished and furnished to an exceptionally high standard, with private onsite access to extra facilities such as gyms, spas or swimming pools, while being within easy reach of high-end shopping malls, yacht marinas, supermarkets, bars or restaurants.
As an extra advantage, purchasing a property in one of the SDAs in Gozo does not require the buyer to be a resident, nor does it require an AIP permit application. The purchase of a property of a certain value within an SDA also makes it simpler to qualify for Maltese residency – great for those considering relocating to the island, or for EU and non-EU citizens seeking a picture-postcard place in the Mediterranean to retire.
RE/MAX Malta makes buying a home in Gozo simple. Your dedicated, highly trained RE/MAX agent will use our extensive database, vast local and international network of contacts and the latest technologies in the industry to guide you through the process.
The procedure to buy a property in Malta or Gozo is equally straightforward. After confirming your budget by factoring in both the cost of the house and other expenses such as architect fees, deposit and stamp duty, your RE/MAX agent will help you narrow down your list of requirements including your preferred location in Gozo. Following a focused search, they will also guide you through each step towards securing your new home, from making an offer and negotiating a purchase price, to signing the ‘Promise of Sale’ agreement (known locally as a ‘Konvenju’) and completing the final deed. RE/MAX Malta will even be on hand to help with moving in and recommendations for local schools, facilities and contractors.
From the moment you decide to buy in Gozo, to the day you receive the keys to your new home –and beyond – the expertise and experience of RE/MAX Malta will be with you at every stage, so all you need to do is enjoy every unforgettable moment spent in Malta’s spectacular sister island.
Speak to a member of the RE/MAX team today to start your journey to owning a property in Malta or Gozo.