Italy has always had a powerful charm; the lure of the wonderful climate, unique history and culture, not to mention the fabulous cuisine and wines, has made Italy a holiday destination of choice for vast numbers of tourists.  Many people take the step of buying their own property and enjoy holidays a sun-drenched corner of rural Italy with a slower pace of life making a restful environment allowing them to relax and recharge.

This year may just be the very best time to buy a property in Italy for more than one reason.  Eurostat, a Directorate-General of the European Commission based in Luxembourg, highlights that Italy alone, compared to all of Europe, has suffered from a contracting real estate market for two quarters in succession which, as present, is continuing to weaken.  The slow decline, which started in 2007, has now accelerated and house prices are now as much as 23 per cent lower. 

As happens in challenging or declining economic situations this presents a significant opportunity for the shrewd investor to expand an existing property portfolio, acquire a holiday or retirement home or buy commercial real estate to gain a foothold in Italy.  It is wise to seize such situations swiftly as the financial institutions will not tolerate such a position for very long.  At the moment the Italian banks are fire-fighting to recover what they can from defaulting mortgages by selling, mainly residential property, at auction at knock-down prices.  Consequently there is an excellent prospect of obtaining a prestigious property at an extremely advantageous price.  If you decide to take the auction purchase route it would be judicious to instruct an English speaking Italian lawyer to advise you and oversee the process as procedures in Italy vary from those in the UK.

The lawyers at Giambrone have identified the fact that high-end Italian residential real estate, in some regions, is proportionally at an all time low price.  The window of opportunity may be relatively small depending on how the political and commercial situations in both Italy and the UK continue to develop.  The turbulence caused in the EU by Brexit and the lack of certainty as to how Europe will work with the UK in the future will not last forever.  Foreign investment is always required and foreign investors can lift the real estate market in Italy and significantly help bolster the property sector.

The very best prices are found in southern Italy and along the Adriatic coast.  Heritage properties in need of renovation are the bargains.  Many investors are choosing to buy heritage properties and renovating them to a high standard, over time, with a view to retaining the property and adding to their portfolio whilst the market is so favourable to buyers. 

If you have been thinking of buying a house in Italy, you would be wise to do so with the help of English speaking ltalian lawyers to guide you through the taxes and regulatory issues and steer you away from any risks.  Regardless of whether an Italian property is for your personal use or whether it is part of a long term investment programme with a renovation plan, buying a house in Italy is highly likely to be one of the best investments you ever make.

For further information about buying a property in Italy please click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.