Malta is increasingly becoming a second home for a number of South Africans, according to Lance Cohen, luxury market specialist for Seeff.
This is being driven by the low cost of investment as well as affordable property prices for those those currently looking in South Africa’s high-end market.
According to the country’s most recent emigration and investment prospectus, investment in Malta starts from as low as €200,000 to €250,000 (R3 million – R4 million).
Notably, this would give you access to a second passport that offers visa-free access to over 168 countries across the world as well as direct access to the Euro zone. In comparison, the South African passport can only give you access to 90 countries without a visa, with Ireland being the only EU country.
“Demand in investment opportunities was climbing, with interest from across the country now high,” said Cohen.
“Compared to what you pay these days for a holiday home on South Africa’s coast, you can see the attraction of this destination for those looking for a second passport that offers direct access to the Euro zone.”
“Best of all, it is a wonderful holiday destination and a short ferry hop or flight to mainland Europe,” he said.
There are also a number of direct flights from OR Tambo and Cape Town International to Malta, “so it makes perfect sense for wealthy South Africans and others from the African continent to invest in property on the island,” Cohen said.
According to Cohen, the property options are quite diverse across the island, with a smallholding and country house selling for around €6,500,000 (R97 million), a townhouse in town selling for around €4,000,000 (R60 million) or an apartment for around the €1,000,000 (R15 million).
It is also an investment that you can capitalise on by renting your property when you do not need to use it, Cohen said.
“Airbnb, for example, is a popular option, but there are many rental agencies available for this.”
While these homes are likely to be out of reach for all except South Africa’s high-income earners, considering location, security and investment opportunities they do compare favourably to high-end homes found in South Africa.
According to a recent study conducted by Seeff in June, Cape Town is home to nine of the 10 richest suburbs in South Africa, up from seven out of 10, two years ago.
Clifton tops the list with an average selling price of R23 million. Only one Johannesburg/Sandton suburb, being Sandhurst, ranks in the top ten at 4th place with an average selling price of R16.5 million, the report noted.