Anyone who knows anything about the Malta real estate market will tell you that the most prestigious, exclusive and expensive area to buy a villa in Malta is Madliena.
Madliena, which forms part of the Swieqi local council, is one of only a handful of villa areas in Malta.
Whilst there are other villa areas in Malta one could mention, the main villa areas are Santa Marija Estate in Mellieha, Iklin in the centre of the island, San Pawl Tat- Targa & Birguma, which are adjacent and only divided by a by-pass and form part of Naxxar and last but not least Victoria Gardens which form part of Ta’ L-Ibrag, which again forms part of the Swieqi local council.
Other area synonymous with up-market sought after villas and definitely worthy of mention are Wardija, Tas-Silg in the south and Misrah Kola in Attard.
As my title suggests, however i am writing to distinguish between the East coast villa areas of Madliena vs Victoria Gardens:
In the late 70’s and 80’s, Sliema’s large seafront properties, which where mainly owned by the upper class, where starting to be demolished to make way for apartment blocks. These families started moving towards Swieqi/ ibragg and Madliena and building lovey homes there. The area today known as Victoria Gardens was little known and the value of land was way cheaper than Madliena
Year upon year the value of land in Madliena rose and rises but it is no surprise that over the years Victoria Gardens has caught up.
What was it that made Madliena so sought after in the first place?
I would think that the main points that attracted these upper end people to Madliena was that it sat quietly upon a hill with extensive country , valley and sea views overlooking beautiful sunrises yet being within a very short drive back down to Sliema where they originated from. Villas had comfortable and sizeable gardens where privacy was key and well respected.
Today this has somewhat changed since large villas have also now been torn down to make way for smaller properties and much of the build-able area has been developed with hundreds, if not thousands of villas built over the last two decades alone.
Victoria Gardens reminds me of Madliena 15 years ago. Most of the villas there are still Fully detached and the pace of development over the last couple of decades has been much slower. Don’t get me wrong, the values and prices are almost the same as Madliena, and in my opinion this is rightly so since this hamlet has remained much smaller, much less congested yet still offering all the comforts Madliena offers , ie: A quiet, safe villa area, surrounded by valleys in the immediate vicinity ( a short drive) to what has now become our commercial city – (St.Julians/Sliema). I also find that Victoria Gardens is a lot less polluted and has much less traffic, since, unlike Madliena which has become a well known short cut towards Gharghur and Naxxar, it is not a thoroughfare and one only enters this hamlet if necessary.
In a nut shell, whilst Madliena holds a more iconic and much better known brand name, the lesser known rival in Ibragg might be the wiser investment for the near future.
by Stefan Consiglio