Malta’s sister island, Gozo, is only 67km² and is home to around 31,000 people. Its history spans thousands of years, and reminders of this can be found every few hundred metres in its villages and in the countryside. As a place, it also tends to be less busy than Malta and there are fewer opportunities when it comes to jobs, school and even shopping; so why would you want to live there?
The Island boasts some of the most enviable real estate in Europe, including farmhouses that feel more like palazzinos; apartments with exceptional views of bays, meadows and idyllic parish squares; and town houses that are just a five-minute drive away from the countryside or the sea. Due to the large number of Maltese and foreign visitors, the price of property in Gozo has also increased steadily over the past few decades, making it a healthy investment.
Although there are fewer choices when it comes to schools and other amenities, the ones available are of a very good standard, and these include a number of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, a hospital with a heliport that allows quick transfers to Malta’s bigger and more modern medical centre, and many pharmacies, ATMs and bank branches, churches, restaurants, cafés, bars, and even clubs.
Over the years, Gozo has also become a modernised location, playing host to the trademarks of a contemporary site, namely shopping malls, supermarkets, a McDonald’s and decent nightlife. In fact, Gozo has become the ultimate destination on the Maltese islands for anyone wishing to make the most of both the simple things and the vibrancy of a modern life.
For those who do live there, subsidies are given on ferry fares, and recent upgrading of the Gozo Channel’s fleet means that the journey from Imgarr to Cirkewwa and vice versa takes a mere 10 to 15 minutes and won’t break the bank. The bus system within Gozo has also improved manifold, and very much like Rome, all roads in Gozo lead to its capital, Victoria (also known as Rabat).
The parking experience in Gozo is much different to that in Malta’s, particularly because there are less people and therefore fewer vehicles. This has also had a part in Gozo’s retainment of its traditional way of life, with children playing on streets and pensioners conglomerating outside their front door to work lace and gossip.
As a place, Gozo is ideal for anyone who wants a slice of the good old days; for people who would like their children to grow up in a rural atmosphere, and those who don’t mind commuting to work. In exchange, you will get to live in a magical place where time seems to tick at a slower pace and where tradition and modernity live side-by-side at peace.
Property is still a reasonable investment which garners very strong return on investment for that would like to rent out their home. Many Maltese have a second homes in Gozo that is practically self sufficient in that they choose three or four breaks that they reserve for themselves and rent out the home for the rest of the time thus paying most of their mortgage and the upkeep of the home. There are also several major housing developments in Gozo that one should look into, from larger established set ups like Kempinski Residences to other developments that are on a smaller scale. The amenities found with these developments make buying easy understanding that maintenance and upkeep of the surroundings and safety are key elements.
According to the recent report on the Maltese real estate market carried out in March 2014 prices remain comparatively cheaper than the more established geographical markets in Malta. If you are looking to purchase a home in Gozo, it is recommended that you speak to a professional real estate agency where they may guide you accordingly.