Malta’s mixture of villages and towns is quite eclectic and although many of them tend to blend into one another without any separation, there are still noteworthy identifiers, not least each town’s church (or churches as the case may be). So, even if there isn’t some great sea view, or a 500-year-old palazzo as a neighbouring house, the good old Maltese suburbs (though we don’t call them that much) can still offer good property options for your money.
Not quite Sliema, but close
San Gwann has been gaining popularity due to its mix of terraced houses, villas with pools, new flats, main street with shops, and a very central location. It’s a busy town but a stable, unpretentious one though still with a good reputation. Neighbouring St Julians on one side, close to the hospital and university, and with valleys on its other side, San Gwann ticks many of the practical and sought-after boxes of buying property in Malta.
Gzira is another popular location in Malta due to its proximity to the university. It also has a fairly long seafront promenade with many of the flats there being refurbished to elevate the property market. Gzira seafront offers a multitude of bars, cafes, restaurants and convenience shops and the area is undergoing major redevelopment to attract more businesses to the area. It’s definitely a good area to invest in for the rental market in Malta.
Msida – home of the University of Malta and popular with foreign students who don’t want a long commute. Msida is a large seaside town that links to Valletta and is a major thoroughfare for traffic, especially buses. This is also an excellent investment if you’re looking to buy a place to rent in Malta.
The Three Villages
Right in the heart of the island, one finds the quaint villages of Attard, Balzan and Lija, collectively known as The Three Villages. These three villages each combine a historic village core, with beautiful houses built hundreds of years ago, to a modern area, with more contemporary buildings. Attard is home to the President’s residence and San Anton Gardens and hosts many lovely villas and houses of character in the village core. Its offshoot, Misrah Kola, is an extension of the village with more modern builds including many flats and terraced houses. Property prices here tend to remain on the high side due to the area’s reputation, so it’s always a good investment especially if one is looking for a family home.
Lija is a purely residential village, with few shops and just a couple of restaurants; however, many of the properties here are simply super. Beautiful houses nestled in little alleyways or through winding streets, Lija is a particularly pretty village and property here is highly sought after.
Balzan is again, largely residential, though it does have a few more shops. Bordering with Birkirkara, which is one of Malta’s largest towns, the main streets can get busier due to traffic; however, the inner streets still offer the peace that one would expect to find in a Maltese village.
The Villa Areas and Their Surroundings
Madliena and Pembroke are a good option for those who want to be close to all amenities, yet still want to enjoy an element of peace and quiet. Madliena is an upmarket area and property here is in the higher bracket; however, the quality of the houses is also very high. Pembroke is very suburban with quite a lot of open space, and a few schools located in the area, and also neighbouring the nightlife centre of Paceville which might not appeal to all, although far enough to be cut off from the worst of the hectic Paceville lifestyle.
San Pawl tat-Targa and Naxxar are another villa area with more modest outskirts. Although Naxxar has become more developed and is a busy town, the inner streets still preserve that Maltese village quality that many look for. Meanwhile, San Pawl tat-Targa offers some luxury properties and if you’re lucky to have one on higher ground, you’ll also have gorgeous views of Malta from your balcony or roof.
The Largest Towns
Mosta is Malta’s central village; a very busy space of commercial activity intermingled with housewives going about their daily lives. Here you’ll find a mix of traditional townhouses, modern residential developments, and commercial spaces, as well as many bars, restaurants, and shops. The town is also a popular tourist spot due to its famous domed church. Property is largely affordable; many young couples enter the property market by buying a place in Mosta.
Birkirkara is Malta’s largest town, bordered by the villages of Lija and Balzan. A hub of activity of both pedestrians and cars, Birkirkara is a commercial centre with several offices and businesses having an outlet in the area as their ‘central’ location. The village mentality is still rife, especially in the village core where the twice-weekly market is still held. Birkirkara is very dear to those who were born and raised there and there is a strong affiliation to their town especially in terms of religious connections. Property here tends to be mostly affordable.
Buying inland might not be as appealing for an investor looking to rent out a property as it would for a buyer looking to purchase a family home, and that’s a good thing because it means that there are properties to suit different needs and budgets, which results in less competition.