Italian Flare


Serene landscapes, abundant culture and an enviable lifestyle, not to mention a stable market, is making Italy a shining star for international buyers. L-J Andrew uncovers more

For many, owning a property in Italy represents the ultimate in luxe living. With a huge variety of property types and locations, the country has something for everyone, whether your preference is a city pad, a sea-view villa, or a rustic farmhouse immersed in vineyards and olive groves.

The country is blessed with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to history, art, culture and gastronomy. Boasting 51 UNESCO world heritage sites and said to have more masterpieces per square mile than any other European country, Italy has something for everyone – from sun-kissed beaches to architectural masterpieces and rolling countryside to world-famous fashion and shopping.

Most come to Italy purely for the lifestyle, sharing this idyll with family and friends over many years of property ownership; and despite the many factors that have affected both global and European economies in recent years, these factors are unlikely to diminish. Recent data from social media trends and hashtags has shown that Italian destinations, specifically Florence, Tuscany and the getaway island of Sardinia, take three out of the top ten positions for places “to visit and live among the UHNW”, more than any other country.

Dr Alessandra Micalizzi, psychologist and author, invites us to interpret modern needs with a reading that is not only economic-financial but also humanistic.

“A home, is no longer a simple investment, but a place where we can seek serenity and where it’s possible to enjoy outdoor spaces, gardens and terraces,”

“Interesting locations, are those that manage to keep these aspects together: living in a high-level urban space, offering culture, entertainment, social life, alongside properties with characteristics that satisfy the new wellbeing desires for quality of life.”

One cannot ignore Brexit, currency fluctuations and Italy’s seemingly fragile economy, but regardless of the drawbacks, the market remains encouragingly active. This is in part, driven by a solid supply of available properties and keen prices, which have fallen by around 40% in the last 10 years. However, this downward trajectory seems finally to be reaching its nadir with prices levelling off and even climbing marginally in some locations.

When compared to other European countries, the current Italian market is actually one of the most promising. According to Knight Frank, house prices in the UK fell by 3.1%, with a 1% fall in Germany, on an annual basis in the first quarter of 2023, whilst prices grew by 1.1% in Italy. Recent data from Caixabank studio, also predicted Italy will be less affected by the correction of real estate prices compared to the other big four economies in the Eurozone in 2023.

So, whilst immediate returns might not be on the cards, prices in Italy are likely to rise again, plus the lifestyle factors which are a constant, make it a good moment to be considering a property purchase.

So where should we buy? Typically, purchasers look to  places they already know, perhaps having holidayed there, or through recommendations from friends. It’s worth taking a few days to look around a place and get a feel for the location. Also, ask the agent not just about the property you are looking at, but the surrounding area and its access links. Most in demand at the moment, are city apartments and fully restored countryside properties within close proximity of local amenities. City locations have seen the greatest price stability, benefiting from revived domestic interest too.

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