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Blog / Malta & Gozo / High rents, high costs of living: why flat sharing in Malta is becoming increasingly more popular

High rents, high costs of living: why flat sharing in Malta is becoming increasingly more popular

By Knowing Malta | 09 March 2021

Are you looking to move to Malta? There are many things to think about when moving places, let alone when you are moving countries. Malta is a prosperous country in Europe with favourable tax benefits for individuals and corporations. This has resulted in many companies moving to Malta in the last ten years, bringing an international workforce.

As you may know, Malta is a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Space is limited, and the influx of expatriate workers has driven the rental market to record levels. An increasing problem with living in Malta is finding affordable housing. A company in Malta called Flatmate alleviates this problem by providing people with a flat-sharing marketplace where they can make connections with other people looking for flatshares. In this article, we will look at the living situation in Malta and the benefits of sharing a flat with like-minded people.

Current Climate of the Rental Market in Malta

Malta’s rental rates have fallen by 11% during this pandemic, as per a report by the Central Bank of Malta. A notable decrease. But looking at the full context of this number, including where the rental prices were before Covid-19, it is safe to say that rental prices in Malta are still very high. St Julian’s, Sliema, Gzira, Msida, Valletta, and surrounding areas are popular choices for expatriate workers. 

It is not uncommon that modern one-bedroom apartments have a monthly rent of €700-800. Modern two-bedroom apartments at €900-1,200. Meanwhile, the average salary in Malta is €2,000. High rental prices and relatively high living expenses are the main drivers behind the increased demand for Malta flatshares.

High Costs of Living

For the longest time, Malta had a reputation for being a relatively cheap country to live in. However, for the same reasons we outlined earlier, the costs of living have increased in recent years, especially in immediate areas where foreign companies have their offices. The same places are essential for tourism which further drives prices up for groceries, restaurants, and general amenities. Venturing outside the popular high-density areas, life in Malta becomes a lot more affordable. Especially towards the south. 

Areas like Bormla, Senglea, and Kalkara are beautiful places and considerably cheaper. These areas are hidden gems of Malta where the quality of life for expats increases due to lower rental costs and generally lower cost of living. The south has a bad reputation for no good reason.

As Malta’s infrastructure improves, so do transport options from the southern areas towards the hot-spot areas of large offices and working places. Already today, there are plenty of transport options from an area like Bormla, both buses, and the low-cost, fast ferry service between the harbour in the inlets of Bormla and Valletta. However, most people opt for the high-density in and around Sliema, where the prices remain high in all aspects. This is why more and more people are opting for shared living to lower their costs while increasing their living standards.

Benefits of Flat Sharing

Flat sharing is when you have your bedroom, sometimes a bedroom with ensuite, and sharing other household parts. Typically, flatshare properties are larger with more space in all common areas. For example, there could be a three-bedroom apartment shared by three people, splitting the rent between them along with utility bills, which means that a person could go from spending upwards of €1,200 down to just €300-400 per month. This results in more money in a savings account or more options to go out and about Malta, enjoying everything the island offers.

People living in a shared flat are often referred to as flatmates or roommates. Although, roommates mainly relate to people that are sharing a room in a flat. As we already mentioned, the practice of sharing a flat has become a popular option in Malta. For years, it has been a standard way of living for students and expats in countries like the United Kingdom.

Another benefit of living in a flatshare is the opportunity to meet new people. Moving countries can be a lonely experience at first until you get around to meet new people outside and in your workplace or university. It is easy to get a head start by moving into a flatshare with other like-minded people in the same situation. There are many Facebook groups and, of course, the flat sharing marketplace we mentioned earlier, Flatmate, if you are interested in moving into a flatshare.

Experiences and Memories

If you choose to go with flat sharing, you won’t only share a home and living costs, but you will also share experiences and memories. Gain new friends and have some people to rely on, which can provide you with the feeling of belonging, something that is an essential need and hard to come by when you have just moved to Malta.

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