It's official - Malta has the best climate on earth.
Malta was one of two countries that were tied for first place with the title of Best Climate, according to the Quality of Life Index issued by the International Living magazine last year. Sharing top honours was Zimbabwe.
Yet a Mediterranean climate (over 5 hours of sunshine a day) isn't all that Malta has to offer. Malta's many other virtues in the 9 categories of the IL index combined to earn it 3rd place overall in the Index, pipped to the post by the U.S. and New Zealand. That ranking speaks volumes for the size of Malta's quality offering relative to the island's land mass of just 122 square miles.
How about a stable government, economy and a modern health service? These factors carry a lot of pull for wealthy English and Europeans looking to get away from their frosty climes. In fact, frost and snow are unknown in Malta with shirt sleeve order and temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees C) in November. Flights to many European capitals are just 3 hours away. Crime is low, education levels high, the locals hospitable and English-speaking with 48 English language schools. As a result, homes and apartments here have now attracted the international set. So has the historic harbours, 5-star hotels, restaurants and summer nightlife.
But overseas domestic buyers aren't the only ones to recognise the reputation of the island's property potential. Malta's success in attracting City hedge fund managers to redomicile to the island as a result of a well regulated and cost-competitive jurisdiction has spurred more demand for high quality homes in the sun.
Back in 2000, it wasn't like this. Sure, the island had a loyal following of repeat overseas visitors but nothing that one could call gold standard. Despite its geographic location and abundance of sun and sea, Malta's lifestyle as an up-market destination had little relevance for the aspiring overseas home buyer. That was until Portomaso was built.
George Fenech, the Tumas Group's Chairman, pioneered the lifestyle concept in Malta. He had a €140 million dream. He wanted to enhance the quality of life for those buyers who could make the right investment decision. His vision of the Portomaso marina would bring Malta to the attention of the international property market with an Oscar of the property world - Gold Award in the Best Marina Development Category in the 2005 International Property Awards. As a result, Portomaso was acclaimed the most exclusive address in Malta and became home to the well-heeled, international celebrities and footballers. Those that bought in 2000 have seen the value of their property rise by over 400%. Rental returns, too, have risen by 10% to 12%.
Out of the Portomaso mould have been cast two more luxury developments in the north and south of the island, both a stone's throw from the Med. They are already reaching completion, thanks to Tumas Developments, the Group's property arm. As both properties websites rather prosaically state, these two new residencies 'offer lifestyle choices of the highest standards'. More to the point, poured into these two mouldsare all the expectations of luxury, safety, tranquility and, you've guessed it, lifestyle. Tas Sellum and Ta' Monita have been designed to suit most pockets. Tas-Sellum offers a one-bedroom apartment of 68 square meters starting at €158,000 going up to a million plus for larger apartments whilst Ta' Monita offers apartments starting at €98,000 going up to a million plus.Both residences are termed Specially Designated Area*, allowing the buyer to purchase more than one property in Malta and Gozo for private use or for business. Perhaps we should create a Portomaso Quality Index. Zimbabwe wouldn't stand a chance.
Portomaso Residence telephone: (+356) 2711 6116,
Tas Sellum Residence Sales Office telephone: (+356) 2711 6116, Mobile: (+356)7711 6116
Ta' Monita Residence Sales Office telephone: (+356) 2711 6116, Mobile: (+356) 7711 6116