Marriage and housing in Malta

Nov 02, 2021

After hearing the words “ I now pronounce you husband and wife”, many couples will have to face a big challenge. Where will we start their life together? This is a question that perhaps can be delayed to after the honeymoon, or perhaps you have been already living together and you already know where you will be starting your new life as a married couple. However, maybe you haven’t been living together yet, as the majority of the Maltese couples or, you are thinking of moving to a more appropriate place with the intention of forming a family, nevertheless, it is a question that sooner or later will make his presence and, it is better to be ready to answer it.

In the specific case of Malta, according to some surveys made by some newspapers and other international non-governmental institutions, Catholicism is the major religion in the country, with 88 % of Maltese declaring themselves Catholic, according to these surveys conducted during 2019. Even the Maltese Constitution declared the main religion in Malta is Roman Catholicism but the Constitution also guarantees freedom of religion as a constitutional right. The trend nowadays is seeing an increase in other beliefs such as atheism, especially in the youth, nevertheless, the importance of the Catholicism religion in the country can not be overlooked. With this fact in mind, many couples do not share a house until they get married. 

Moreover, we should highlight the matrimonial regime the couple will choose to comply with. At the time of renting or especially purchasing a house, this is a crucial aspect. It is not so romantic, but necessary. In Malta there are three kinds of matrimonial regimes, will go through them in a broad way, but we are sure some lawyer’s office can give you a deeper insight: 

1. Community of Acquests (COA): the standard Regime, is used in case there is no other agreement. It basically states that all the assets now are shared with each other. 

2. Separation of Estates: each of the spouses will be exclusive owners of their assets, purchased before and during the marriage.

3. Community of Residue Under Separate Administration (CORSA): It combines elements of the two previous ones. The most characteristic feature is the existence of a deposit in the case of a separation which will be calculated and split between the spouses. However, the spouse with the least deposit amount assigned should receive compensation from the other spouse so both parties obtain an equal share of the assets. 

Once clarified, some legal aspects of marriage many couples will state that renting a property is not the best option in the long term. This also depends on the social and financial situation of each couple. We all know that family, friends and finance all play a crucial role in our decision process and, more so, when we face hard decisions such as moving into a new place. In old-fashioned thinking, the best way to proceed is to buy property and have a common investment for you two as a couple, although this is not a bad idea `per se´, this is something that many times can not be done due to the financial health of the couple at the time they get married and perhaps the idea of not being ready yet to share a mortgage and a property.

In addition to this, it is relevant to point out that marrying is not a cheap activity sort of speaking, not at all. It also depends obviously on the guests, the venue, the caterer, the entertainment, the time of the year, the day of the week and the wedding planner costs (if you have). All these factors can make your wedding cost something around 20,000€ or increase it up to a figure superior to 120,000€, so as we can see, it is a huge investment. Still, those prices include weddings with 400 people invited, but if you are a more introverted couple, you can also go for what is called “low-cost weddings”. These types of weddings can cost 2,000/3,000€, with only the two “lovebirds” and, with 80/100 guests the price will rise to a minimum of 15,000€.  Afterwards, the rent average prices in Malta are currently around 780/880€/monthly for a one-bedroom apartment and on the other hand, one can also rent a bigger property, such as a three-bedroom apartment, for an average price of 1,466€/monthly. 

On the other hand, buying an apartment with one bedroom has an average cost of 262,692€. As we can perceive, there is a price difference between renting and buying. However, this aspect can only be relevant to foreigners, nevertheless, we believe it is noteworthy that renting a property for 5 years for 60,000€ per annum or buying a property for 300,000€ and the buyer keeps it for at least 5 years plus other costs like a charitable donation to the country and some administrative and state fees can make a person, couple or family eligible to obtain the Maltese Permanent Residence. There are many benefits for citizens of other countries, especially for the ones outside the EU, by obtaining this document, so if you are a foreign couple you can perhaps assess this idea, if you are a Maltese couple it may not be such an interesting fact though.

At last, we will recommend the areas of Mosta and Birkirkara to recently married couples to start their lives together. These two areas have housing options at really affordable prices and have plenty of commercial spaces, shops, restaurants and bars all over the area. Let’s get deeper into these two areas:

Mosta: It has plenty of visitors who go to visit its Parish Church of the Assumption, which is the third biggest dome church in the world. Thus, in the case you are an expat couple, you can encounter in the bars and restaurants of the area with people of your home country and, if you are a national couple, we are sure you have some couple friends such as yourselves who have just moved into Mosta.

Birkirkara: First of all, it is relevant to point out its status as the largest town in the country and as one of the main commercial centres, having several offices and businesses. It is also true that the residents and former residents of the town show a strong sense of belonging. It is curious that in this location the local market is still held twice a week (Wednesdays and Fridays), a big attraction to locals and foreigners more eager to go deeper into the Maltese culture. This is also an area really affordable in the real estate market.

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