PROPERTIES OF MALTA & GOZO
A landowner owns as much of the air above the surface as he/she can reasonably use in connection with the surface. That isn’t a clear line, obviously. The land wouldn’t be usable at all if one didn’t own some of the air above the surface; almost any use of the land requires using some airspace above the surface.
Flats ( British English) or apartments ( in American English) in Malta are vastly available around the Archipelago of Malta & Gozo. The building of apartments in Malta became more common during the rule of the British Empire (1814 – 1964) where prior to this period the main housing facilities were townhouses, farmhouses and character houses. Influenced by British craftsmanship, the Maltese saw the convenience of building blocks of apartments to cater for several families. You will find a variety of holiday flats to choose from, mostly concentrated in popular resort areas such as Sliema and St. Julian’s, St. Paul’s Bay, Qawra and Bugibba as well as the Southern seaside towns of Birzebbugia and Marsascala, and in Marsalforn and Xlendi in Gozo.
A maisonette may be defined as a property that forms part of a larger building. Few people tend to confuse maisonettes with apartment – as these two are grouped together into one large building. The main difference between them is that a maisonette has its own entrance from the outside, whereby apartments have their entrances through a common area. In Malta, several maisonettes started appearing after the war and have gained popularity nowadays for their bungalow-like layout and more importantly, their independent entrance. One may purchase a ground-floor, first floor, or second floor maisonette. When purchasing a ground floor maisonette, it is often the case that the property may include a backyard/terrace or a garden. Second floor maisonettes offer the luxury of shared or full roof and airspace. Nowadays, maisonettes have gained popularity as they are similar to apartments but several people seem to prefer the added benefit of an independent entrance. Aside from the above, there are a few duplex maisonettes available on the market. They differ from normal maisonettes as-as the name implies – the property covers two floors instead of one.
Should one prefer, one may opt for a solitary maisonette. These types of maisonettes still form part of a larger building but will be the only maisonette available from the aforementioned large building ( for example, a maisonette built above a group of garages). Solitary maisonettes usually include full ownership of roof and airspace.
A penthouse apartment or a penthouse (coined through French appentier), is an apartment or unit on the highest floor of an apartment building, condominium, or hotel. Penthouses are typically differentiated from other apartment by luxury features. A penthouse may be defined as an apartment on the highest floor of a block of apartments. They differ from your usual apartment as more often than not, they are luxuriously finished. Demand for apartment increased dramatically. Between 2001 and 2005, the Maltese real estate Market experienced its second boom where overall prices increase at a peak of 36%. Since then, prices have been stable where increases and decreases have been experienced across the board and have affected different areas of Malta. Most investment properties and rental properties have remained on the increase at circa 5%. Apartments in some areas around Malta experienced an even higher increase. During the last survey published by the Central Bank of Malta in 2011, apartments in general (all around Malta) increased by 1%. Depending on where you may be interested in buying an apartment, good investments may be found whether this is for pure investment purposes, rental investment or as a family home.
In Malta the majority of the townhouses belong to pre-war or post-war era and were characteristic in certain localities such as Sliema. The Sliema Promenade was especially famous for its townhouses which almost stretched along the full length of the promenade. Nowadays, townhouses are not as common as they used to be with double-fronted townhouses being even less common. A townhouse is recognised by several features, such as wooden apertures – doors, windows, balconies, etc. More often than not, the facade was kept as original limestone which allowed several townhouse owners to paint their wooden apertures in complimenting colours – green, red, blue, etc. For safety, a large percentage of these homes also included wrought-iron gates and usually included a plaque just near the door number showing a religious Saint or similar.
Walking down a street in any village or town center in Malta & Gozo usually offers the sight of several old townhouses belonging to the pre-war or post-war era, sitting neatly in a row, patterned and colorful.
More often than not, you’re bound to find a lovely back garden in most of these homes and if you’re lucky a well is found within the garden.
Due to their age, some townhouses were in need of restoration following the war. Unfortunately, it has been commonplace that townhouses are knocked down in order. Nevertheless, their rarity is what makes these houses a lovely home.
Typical House of Character
A house of character is above that is adorned with traditional features such as old stone, arches troughs, courtyards and patterned tiles. These give it that exclusive quality that makes it a special house. Some houses of Character in Malta date back to more than 500 years and can boast skillful craftsmanship and attention to details. Many restored houses of character are clusters of sometimes three or four houses that have been interconnected to serve a modern family. Whereas one of these houses in the olden days would host a family of ten, today the restored house would most commonly host a modern family of five.
Back in the eighties and nineties, the art of buying old houses of character and converting them was a major trend which fueled a whole niche industry. Many were very well converted whereas some were not and probably have been reconverted again by their present owner. There are not many well-converted houses of character in Malta & Gozo available today, however when there are available they usually get snapped up quite quickly.
( Deriving from Roman Villa)
A villa is considered by definition to be a large, luxurious house sitting in its own grounds. The villa as an architectural Creation, typically originated in Roman times, being owned by important or wealthy personages within Roman Society. Incidentally, in Malta, we do have our very own authentic Roman Villa also referred to as the Domvs Romana. This historic edifice forms part of the national heritage and is extremely popular with locals and foreigners alike. It dates back to the 2nd century BC and is located outside the walls of Mdina. Roman villas apart, the older villas on the island are akin to being considered palazzos and when one speaks of villas it is most typically understood that one is referring to a villa belonging to the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s or contemporary times.
In Malta, villas are typically built on two stories and are fully detached, or semi-detached. Some of these types of home may have front and/or back gardens, and other with garden/patio space all around the entire property. Very spacious driveways – or as these are locally known; drive-ins – lead to spacious garages that can be found at ground floor or basement levels. The latter option of basement garages is a preferred option since it allows the entire ground floor space to remain intact and free for home occupation. This also provides for the opportunity to build what we call in Malta flatlet, which may be used as a rental property or an extension for guests.
Typical Terraced House
A terraced house is a home with multiple levels – generally, two – which is found between two other buildings, hence not detached. More than often, they have a front porch area as well as a garden or courtyard. Terraced houses are more recent builds than the typical townhouses and do not have the classic Maltese Balcony and windows and were a trend between the 1970’s to 1990’s but are still being built till today. However, finding recent builds is hard due to the space required. Owning its own airspace, these properties are generally fairly large and often include underlying or sidecar garages. Architectural styles vary from one location to another, some embellished with carved stonework such as those in Gozo), to more modern homes with very clean cut edges, open plan areas, and modern features. The older terraced houses may include marble flooring, solid wood apertures, and staircases with aluminium or stone balconies. Those built in the 1970’s offer a more square layout and apertures were generally painted cast iron.
While the definition can vary internationally, a bungalow for sale in Malta typically describes a single story house. Maltese Bungalows can include a pool and garden and differ in architectural style.
A guesthouse is a kind of lodging. In still others, it is a private home which has been converted for the exclusive use of guest accommodation. The owner usually lives in an entirely separate area within the property and the guest house may serve as a form of lodging business.
A warehouse is a building for storing goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial parks on the outskirts of cities, towns or villages.
The definition of a garage is an enclosed space for keeping or repairing cars. An example of a garage is the part of a home that has a large door that opens to the outside. An example of a garage is the place where you take your care for an oil change.
Commercial office space range from the modest managed office space to cafes or restaurants. Ideal for small, medium and large businesses. Today’s standard finish includes all amenities such as air conditioning, segregated bathrooms, gypsum walls and modern partitioning. There are many high-end office spaces available that boast state of the art technology already available so to make life easier for the Information Technology and Tourism Industry.