Type of residential property in Malta

Sep 14, 2021

As the global population grows and migration flows keep rising, the demand for real estate properties continues increasing. While you can find several properties available in the market, residential remains the most popular choice.


Did you ever wonder what is a terrace house, bungalow, apartment, flat,... or what is the difference between them? In order to help you as much as possible in the search for your new home, in this article, we will tell you what the different types of homes are and their most outstanding characteristics. Only then will you be able to understand the type of home that best suits your needs, if the area where you are looking for them has them or the budget you need to buy them.
Residential real estate refers to any property used for housing.
In the Maltese property market, there are many kinds of properties (maisonette, apartment, penthouse,...) each one with its own advantages and disadvantages that you must analyse before choosing in which one you want to live. 
On the other hand, you have to consider that the terms you use could be different for the experts. For example, what you call a house may be a maisonette.

Block of flats / Residential building units 

These are the most common types of residence on the island since the demand as well as the number of properties available keep increasing.

The main characteristic of this group is that all of them are part of a block or unit of properties; either a small and independent block or a large complex with communal areas.

While you can find a wide range of different properties to suit anyone’s taste budget and needs, you should define which characteristics match your preferences: communal pools, sea views, terraces, etc.

  • Apartment: Flat (British English) or apartment (in American English) is a self-contained unit within a residential building that includes a separate bedroom/s area closed off from the living room and kitchen area.

  • Studio: A studio is a self-contained unit with one single room space that combines the living room, bedroom and kitchen except for the bathroom.

  • Maisonette: A Maisonette is an apartment with a separated private front door from the block entrance and it is usually equipped with a back yard.

  • Penthouse: A penthouse is an apartment or unit on the highest floor of the building.



 All of these houses are considered independent housing either detached or semi-detached, generally designed as a single-family house rather than multi-familiar like a condo.

  • Villas: A villa is a luxurious counterpart of a row house and larger.  Villas are detached properties that open directly to the street, usually often with a patio or front garden. In Malta, Villas are typically built on two-story and are either fully detached or semi-detached.

  • Bungalow: It is a detached property surrounded by a garden area, backspace, etc. In Malta, bungalows are traditionally built as single-story houses.

  • Farmhouse: A Farmhouse is traditionally a house that lies on the land of an agricultural farm. In Malta, most of the farmhouses were once part of a farm and today are located in a popular local village or just on the outskirts of a local village.


Semi-detached and non-detached

  • Terrace House: A modern version of the typical townhouse built over two floors with garage, back and/or front garden or yard that shares one or two walls with adjacent properties. This property is designed for large families due to the extra-large rooms and number of bedrooms. Most are built following a traditional solid style with Maltese limestone.

  • Townhouse: Townhouses are significantly older than terrace houses. As the terrace house, townhouses are multi-floor homes that share one- to two walls with adjacent properties but have their own entrances. Townhouses have many traditional features in their architecture such as stone arches, wooden beams, patterned tiles and wooden apertures.

  • House of characterA house of character is a house adorned with traditional architecture and original features such as stone arches, wooden beams, patterned tiles and wooden apertures. They were mainly built in the 17th and 18th century Some houses of character in Malta date back to more than 500 years and can boast of skilful craftsmanship and attention to detail.



  • Boathouse: A boathouse (or a boat house) is a building specially designed for the storage of boats, normally smaller craft for sports or leisure use. Boathouses can also be converted as properties for housing. 

  • Palace or castle: Castles and palaces have very similar design features, the only difference is that a castle is fortified while a palace is not. Converted properties are available for residential purposes.

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