Italy Overseas Property Market Update

Is this the right time to buy property Italy? To be fair, whether you buy or sell property in Italy depends largely on your individual circumstances. But Italy is a safe country to invest in, with a stable housing market. Italy is certainly not like Greece, which has such massive problems. Indeed, the economic situation in Italy was good, even during the worst days of the post-2008 economic recession, when countries such as Spain and Portugal were in such a mess.


As Diletta Giorgolo Spinola, the head of sales at Tuscany Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “Italian property prices are 30 per cent ­below their peak right now, but because the market is finally starting to move again, this is the perfect time to invest in an overseas home in Italy. Vendors can’t put their properties on the market at an inflated value because there are too many other sellers prepared to ­negotiate.”


That Italy is a beautiful country and everybody’s favourite holiday spot, famous for its great cuisine, high fashion and warm and friendly people. The housing market in Italy has largely recovered since the 2008 global housing crash. There was a report published by PwC and the Urban Land Institute, which states quite unequivocally that Italy offers some of the best opportunities for overseas property investors in Europe.


That is true because there are a number of great spots in Italy that are very hot with overseas investors. Puglia, Lake Como and Tuscany are among the most popular overseas property destinations in Europe, as are the Dolomites and Le Marche. Here, property prices are 33% cheaper than in Tuscany.


There is a lot of interest in Italy coming from the UK. Britons have always been in love with Italy, so this is nothing new. What has helped is that the last couple of years have seen the pound at its strongest and the euro at its weakest. So Brits looking to buy property in Italy have the exchange rate in their favour, which gives them more buying power.


There is also a lot of interest from the US. The United States has a large Italian-American population, and so there are many who wish to retain the ties that bind them to the land that their parents or grandparents came from. Also, Americans have always romanticized Italy as a land of fine wine, great food and beautiful women. So, there will always be a lot of Americans wanting to buy a beautiful home or even a vineyard in Italy.


There is a lot of interest in Italy from wealthy Arab buyers as well. People in the Middle East have always been fascinated by Italy and love the Italian way of life. So many have homes here.


Francesco Carlucci of Essentis Properties, who mainly sells to Middle Eastern buyers, says “Many UAE buyers will pay with dollars, and the dollar has never been stronger than it is now against the euro. My forecast is that between 2010 and 2022, there will be an increase of 35 to 40 per cent in prices for the best properties. For example, the Puglia region came to the map about 10 years ago and now the property has doubled in value.”


Generally, homes worth 500,000 EUR to 1 million EUR are very popular with overseas buyers. Lake Como and Liguria get a lot of interest in this category. There is an intense competition for the best Italian homes for sale among international buyers, so sellers can expect to have a bidding war for their property, which would drive up the price considerably.


Opportunities for bargain hunting are very limited. It is very hard to find a decent property that is worth 150,000 EUR or less in Italy. Still, it is not impossible to find such homes. Generally, if you’re looking to buy a house of a reasonable quality and in a great location in Italy, you should expect to pay at least 200,000 EUR for it.

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