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How much does it cost to live in Malta?

Malta remains cheaper than EU average but spiralling property prices and low wages remain a reality

Alcohol and cigarettes, food and beverages together with furnishing and household equiment are the three categories where Malta is rated as being more expensive than the EU average.

According to new data published by Eurostat, Malta is still considered to be cheaper than other EU member states.

However, it is more expensive than average when it comes to food and non-alcoholic beverages (9.8 points above the EU average), furnishing and household equipment (1.2 points above the EU average) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (0.4 points above the EU average).

However, the research does not take into consideration other factors such as the increase in prices of property and the net average monthly salary.

On average, Malta might be cheaper than other EU countries but most of these countries have higher wages. The average wage in Malta stands just under €1,100 a month, way below other countries such as Luxembourg (€3,416), Germany (€2,302) and France (€2,225).

People in Malta are also facing increasing property prices. A report commissioned to KPMG by the Malta Developers Association showed that the average rental prices in Malta have risen by roughly 47 per cent between 2013 and 2016. This increase is far higher than the increase in wages and those on the national minimum wage of €735 per month are finding it very difficult to find affordable rental prices.

The report said the main upward trend in rental prices was largely due to foreigners residing in Malta. The price of properties for sale rose by an average of 24 per cent between 2013 and 2016, with the average apartment costing around €228,000.

According to Eurostat, Denmark and Luxembourg had the highest price levels in 2017 (both 41 per cent above the EU average), followed by Sweden (35 per cent above), Ireland (28 per cent above), Finland (23 per cent above) and the United Kingdom (17 per cent above).

Denmark was the most expensive Member State in 2017 for “restaurants and hotels” (51 per cent above the EU average), “food” (50 per cent above), “recreation and culture” (48 per cent above), “transport (28 per cent above) and “household equipment” (20 per cent above).

The lowest price levels were recorded in Bulgaria (56 per cent below the EU average), Romania (52 Ireland was the most expensive Member State for “alcoholic beverages and tobacco” (74 per cent above), Luxembourg for “housing, water, electricity and gas” (63 per cent above), Greece for “communications” (54 per cent above) and Sweden for “clothing and footwear” (34 per cent above).

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