Property as an asset class has always been a key feature in most Maltese investment portfolios. Traditionally, such investment has always been restricted to property located in Malta, with the occasional exception being probably the investment in apartments in the United Kingdom, most noticeably the London area, which could also double up for personal use and for leasing purposes. One can say, however, that Malta’s accession to the European Union in 2004 was the major catalyst which has caused foreign property to become a possible candidate as an investment option.
Romania and Bulgaria were probably the logical countries of choice for most property investments by Maltese nationals in the initial post-accession period. This was mainly motivated by a perceived possible increase in value once Romania and Bulgaria eventually joined the EU.
However, a very logical market very close to Malta, namely Sicily, was overlooked by most investors for reasons more based on prejudice or preconceived ideas rather than information and logic.
The assets which the neighboring island of Sicily can present to the Maltese investor are very diverse. This cradle of civilization is home to many archaelogical sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica in the province of Siracusa and the Valley of the Temples in the province of Agrigento. Sicily is also well steeped in history, with many architectural gems such as the baroque towns of the Val di Noto, consisting of the eight towns of Noto, Ragusa, Caltagirone, Militello, Catania, Modica, Palazzolo and Scicli which, since 2002, have been listed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Nature has also scored a lot of points in Sicily, with a topography which is breath-taking to any outdoor-living enthusiast, be it the magnificent volcanic landscape of Mount Etna, the varied interesting coastline, the nature reserves such as those at Vendicari and Randazzo, the Hyblean mountain chain and much more. The island benefits from very pleasant climatic conditions.
Sicily is also endowed with many delights with regards to folklore, traditions, gastronomy and art, and one must not forget what a popular playground it is for the many Maltese yachting enthusiasts that frequently travel to the various marinas which the South-Eastern coast of Sicily has to offer.
All these plus points have led Go Sicily Properties to identify Sicily as a property investment proposition. Since October 2006, Go Sicily Properties have been assisting investors in acquiring properties in Sicily, specifically in the two provinces of Ragusa and Siracusa, just 90 minutes away from Malta via a very efficient high-speed catamaran which has since established a very frequent timetable to support the increased demand for traffic between the two islands.
Go Sicily Properties is the trade name of Sicily Farmhouses Ltd, a company registered in Malta, and is a joint venture between Mario Spiteri, a 44 year old Certified Public Accountant practicing within the Malta financial and investment services sector and Ingegnere Giovan Battista Palma, who heads one of Ragusa’s top architectural studios.
Mario has been familiar with Sicily for the past twenty years and has been specialising in property in South East Sicily for the past two years, whereas Giovanni has been involved in a large number of residential, commercial, touristic, industrial and infrastructural projects in the province of Ragusa for the past thirty years.
As a result, Go Sicily Properties has over the past two years built a reputation in Malta as the specialist for property in the two provinces of Ragusa and Siracusa in nearby Sicily. Since we focus completely on these two provinces, we are very well placed to give our clients the best deals with regards to price, location, views, value for money and personal attention.
We have managed to build up an excellent reputation for the level of personal service which we offer to our clients. However, in order to be able to improve on our level of service, we have recently teamed up with Belair Real Estate Ltd, a leading property advisor and an agency that since 1967 has been respected and trusted for its ability to create value for their clients. Belair is a well-known specialist in the local real estate field; its young and dynamic management team is backed by active directors with numerous years of experience. The team embraces change and continuously searches for new and better ways of helping their clients achieve their aims.
Go Sicily Properties and Belair Real Estate together offer a very wide selection of properties which is carefully selected and tailored for the Malta and overseas buyer, including converted farmhouses with land, unconverted farmhouses with land, townhouses, agricultural land with guaranteed possibility of constructing a farmhouse, new apartments just 50 metres from the sandy beaches, properties of various types within gated complexes and much more. Prices for worthwhile properties start from as low as €35,000, all of which have been carefully handpicked based on their unique qualities and value for money.
Go Sicily Properties has a growing list of satisfied clients list who, since October 2006, have purchased various types of properties in Sicily for own use as a holiday home, for investment purposes or for a combination of both objectives. This list includes architects, lawyers, teachers, medical doctors, accountants, auditors, financial consultants, real estate agents, stockbrokers, nurses, artisans, sales managers, importers, distributors, real estate developers, university academics, managing directors, company chairmen, company directors, ICT practitioners and many others.
Go Sicily Properties’ client base is not only restricted to Malta but also includes clients hailing from Australia, the British Virgin Islands, Finland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Go Sicily Properties, in association with Belair Real Estate, will be having an Open Weekend at its offices at the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa in San Anton on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 November 2008 between 9.30am and 8.00pm. During this event, we will be launching the two exciting projects of Borgo Lucia in Noto (Province of Siracusa) and Borgo Marchesa in San Giacomo (Province of Ragusa). For further information, one may contact Mario on 9944 4141 or Ian on 99496159 or visit the company’s website www.gosicilyproperties.com.
Mario Spiteri is managing director of Sicily Farmhouses Ltd, operators of Go Sicily Properties of Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa.