Guide to buying on plan property in Malta

When you are buying property on plan in Malta direct from the developer and there is no estate agent to guide you through the buying process, there is no reason to feel short changed. Use our Guide to buying on plan property in Malta to help you through the process; it also includes information regarding the legalities and fees. Use our useful information for first time buyers to find out more about property buying incentives for first time buyers and how to go about obtaining a bank loan.

The essential guide to buying on plan property in Malta for locals and foreigners:


  1. When you’ve decided on the right property, we will negotiate an agreeable price and set an appointment to sign the convenium (promise of sale) with a Notary, who is employed by the buyer. A convenium is usually valid for three months, unless otherwise agreed, after which the final deed or contract of sale is signed.
  2. In any instance, before signing a convenium, ascertain the details contained therein: the price as agreed, if there is any ground rent, what is included and not included in the price, how the payment will be affected (are you taking a bank loan?) and the terms of the convenium (subject to loan, etc.) as these are binding.
  3. At the signing of the convenium, 10% of the agreed price is paid by the buyer as a deposit to guarantee the buyer’s intention to conclude the deal with a final deed of purchase (for your information, less binding than a deposit is earnest, whereby either party may cancel the agreement for a penalty limited to the earnest). Additionally, the buyer also pays 1% of the agreed price as part-payment of stamp duty.
  4. Within the time stipulated by the convenium, the Notary carries out researches on the property and verify clear legal title. Meanwhile, the promise of sale is registered with the Commissioner of Inland Revenue and 1% of the sale price paid towards stamp duty. - In the case of a residence, local buyers pay a total of 3.5% stamp duty on the first €150,000, unless taking advantage of the first time buyer scheme whereby this is waived, and 5% on the remaining value of the property. In the case of any other type of property, stamp duty is 5% on the full price. - Foreigners pay a flat rate of 5% stamp duty.
  5. If you are a foreigner, during the time stipulated by the convenium, if it is required the Notary submits your application for an Acquisition of Immovable Property permit to the Ministry of Finance. Expect to pay €233 AIP permit fee (where applicable) and approximately €600 in searches and registration fees.
  6. Once all conditions relating to bank loans, permits, works and so on, as mentioned in convenium, have been honoured by the buyer and the vendor, the final deed of purchase can be signed. 
  7. If a bank loan was required, the final deed is signed at the bank and the balance paid to the vendor. The buyer is also required to pay the outstanding stamp duty on the purchase price as well as Notary fees. 
  8. At the signing of the contract, an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) - an official assessment of the building’s energy performance with recommendations for improvements on efficiency - is presented by the vendor as required by law, should the property have been already built, if not then this is submitted at an agreed timeframe.
  9. The Notary registers the final deed or contract of sale at the public registry and the land registry, as applicable.