Apartments Flats (British English) or apartments (in American English) in Malta are vastly available around the Archipelago of Malta and Gozo. Building of apartments in Malta became more common during the rule of the British Empire (18141964) 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. During the 197080’s Malta saw its first major housing boom and the supply and demand of apartments increased dramatically.
Maisonettes A maisonette may be defined as a property that forms part of a larger building. Few people tend to confuse maisonettes with apartments – as these too 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 bungalowlike layout and, more importantly, their independent entrance. One may purchase a groundfloor, first floor, or second floor maisonette. When purchasing a ground floor maisonette, it is often the case that the property may include a back yard or 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.
Penthouses 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 and furnished. The word “penthouse” was originally used to refer to a separate smaller “house” that was built on the roof of a block of apartments. Penthouses have been around since the beginning of the 20th century, starting out in the everbusy city of New York. The demand for property was so high that luxury top floor apartments were developed to cater for the growing demand. Architecturally speaking, a penthouse should be set back from the outer walls. This “lost space” is replaced with a terrace where one can easily enjoy the Maltese sun
and beautiful views that generally come with a 6th or 8th floor penthouse – a highly desired feature for any home. In any block of apartments, the penthouse is generally the most expensive owing to their panoramic views and luxurious living space. Due to the high demand for large penthouses, several developers have taken to developing Duplex Penthouses within highdemand projects.
Houses of Character A House of Character is a house that is adorned with traditional architecture and original features such as old stone, arches, troughs, courtyards and patterned tiles. These give it that elusive quality that makes it a special house. Some houses of character in Malta date back to more than 500 years and can boast of skilful craftsmanship and attention to details. Many converted houses of character are clusters of sometimes three, four and even five properties 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 converted 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 fuelled 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 or Gozo available today however when they are they usually get snapped up quite quickly.
Townhouses In Malta, most of the Townhouses belong to prewar or postwar area 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 doublefronted townhouses being even less common. A townhouse is recognised by several features, such as wooden apertures – doors, windows, balconies etc. Often, the façade was kept as original limestone which allowed several townhouse owners to paint their wooden apertures in complementing colours – green, red, blue etc. For safety, a large percentage of
these homes also included wroughtiron 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 centre in Malta and Gozo, usually offers the sight of several older townhouses belonging to the prewar or postwar era, sitting neatly in a row. Whichever period they originated from, they are usually characterised by a series of features which render them typical of these Mediterranean islands. Once you become tempted to purchase a townhouse in Malta of your own, in whichever part of the islands you fancy, do keep in mind that certain aspects of the townhouse are particularly appreciated and would make your investment that much more special. The tiles within a townhouse are generally patterned and colourful. Often, you’re bound to find a lovely back garden in most of these homes and, if you’re lucky, a well as usually present. Due to their age, some townhouses needed restoration following the war. Unfortunately, it has been commonplace that townhouses are knocked down in order to make way for new developments – usually in the form of blocks of Townhouses. Nevertheless, their rarity is what makes these houses a lovely home.
Terraced Houses This is a question often asked by foreigners relocating to Malta. 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 side car 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 cleancut 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 offers a squarer layout and apertures where generally painted cast iron.
Maltese and Gozitan Farmhouses are well soughtafter properties in Malta and Gozo. The English definition of a farmhouse is “a house of a farmer” or “a property that lies on the land of an agricultural farm”. One would think “I don’t want to live on a farm” but in Malta more often than not the farmhouses for sale in Gozo & Malta available on the market were once part of a farm,today are located in a populated local village or just on the outskirts of a local village. Some of these houses date back hundreds of years when Malta and Gozo, together with Comino (still is today) were practically the landscape of agricultural farms. Over the years during when Malta & Gozo was discovered as a strategic land to conquer and control by various nations including the Italians, British, Turks, Germans and others the population grew tremendously thus increasing the need for more land to build modern homes of that day to cater for the demand. Thankfully, many of these farmhouses in Gozo & Malta have been rediscovered over the years and certainly restored and reinvented. Designs do get modified over time to keep up with climate, new traditions and modernization however the original features are meant to be kept in pristine condition. The original features can include drinking troughs for animals, original stone (limestone), birthing rooms, patterned tiles, wooden beams and others that create a huge amount of charm and uniqueness to this type of property. During the 90’s Farmhouses with or without a pool became a fad in Malta. Many individuals set up shop and started purchasing original houses that were either abandoned over the years or lived in at the time and started converting them into habitable homes. A lot of these conversions required skilled workers to add further rooms, rebuild archways, replace wooden beams and during two decades the demand for farmhouses was sky high thus creating a boom in the market. Unfortunately, due to the high demand, many unqualified people, along with the already large number of experts, jumped on the bandwagon and took on conversions themselves. Owing to some of the poor quality converted properties that were being sold at lower prices and an oversupply of good quality houses created a lull in the market. Due to the positive increase of good quality conversions of late, the farmhouse property market has started to increase and prices remain stable. For Expert Advice on buying a Farmhouse for sale in Malta or Gozo kindly feel comfortable to contact one of our specialised listing agents.
Villas If you are considering looking for a villa for sale in Malta or Gozo, we have provided some history on villas in Malta as well as offered some recommendations as to how to maximize a purchase of such a home in today’s real estate market. The villa market is a specialised niche and it is recommended that one use the services of a seasoned estate agent that has worked in this field for many years. One of the keys to maximising the purchase of a home is having the experience to identify a deal that would suit both the vendor and the potential buyer. A seasoned and experienced estate agent will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to guide an upmarket client accordingly. A villa is considered 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 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 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or contemporary times. In Malta, villas are typically built on two stories and are fully detached, or semi detached. Some of these types of homes may have front and/or back gardens, and others with garden/patio space all around the entire property. Very spacious driveways or as these are locally known: driveins 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 a flatlet, which may be used as a rental property or an extension for guests. Typical luxuries found surrounding villas in Malta include swimming pools, pool decks, landscaped gardens, barbecue spaces, tool sheds, automatic gateways, pagodas, shaded seating and space for entertainment. Indoor luxuries abound but alltime favourites are certainly underfloor heating, marble floors, parquet, fireplaces, basement to second floor escalators, ensuite bathrooms, central heating,
airconditioning systems, intelligent lighting systems, complex alarm systems, fitted carpets, conservatories, indoor pools and home theatres. It is very normal to find villas that accommodate four or more bedrooms with walkin wardrobe spaces, a stud and very large kitchens that have all the luxury cooking appliances and gadgets. Certainly, such larger homes necessitate continuous maintenance, higher running costs and substantial investment but on the plus side, the level of comfort and possibility of hosting several guests and entertaining are tangibly possible.
Published on Mar 9, 2018