That is because Italy real estate prices did not rise precipitously as they did in other countries that saw a property bubble and so did not have as far to fall. In addition, Italian banks’ conservative lending policies avoided saddling Italians with unaffordable houses. Only one in 12 Italians has a home loan, compared with one in five UK residents.
To quote international realtors Knight Frank: “Historically, property prices in Italy have always held. ” In stark contrast, average prices in the us fell a record アガルート 土地家屋調査士. 18. 2% in the year to November 2008, with Las vegas values plunging by nearly 40%, according to the 20-city Case-Shiller index.
Allied to Italy’s enduring appeal and taxation changes that have reduced purchasing costs by 10-15%, there has rarely been a more opportune time to invest in the Italy real estate market. Yet as with any real estate transaction – especially in a foreign country – there are commonsense guidelines to follow to ensure buying your dream home doesn’t become a nightmare.
1) CONSIDER DIFFERENT REGIONS
Tuscany remains overseas buyers’ favourite part of Italy. Yet other areas such as Sicily, Abruzzo, Calabria and Le Marche are far cheaper and also have breathtaking landscapes and beaches. Spend a few days at a time to see what areas you like best. Ensure you are within easy reach of local amenities, unless you deliberately want to be in splendid isolation. And when it comes to viewing properties, there is such a thing as too many. Trying to cram 40 visits into a weekend simply turns into a gruelling slog. And by the time you’re on No 35, chances are you won’t remember anything of the first two dozen.
2) BUDGET REALISTICALLY
Yet Tuscany’s famous art cities of Florence, Lucca and Pisa, its beaches at Versilia and its scenic rolling hills mean it will always be in demand with property-buyers. And despite its high costs, there are affordable areas, with prices in Garfagnana in northern Tuscany and the Maremma in the south often half of what you would find in fashionable Chianti. A word of warning: as already mentioned, Italy’s housing market has not suffered the freefall seen in some other countries, so expect discounts of no more than around 10% off asking prices.
3) FIND A GOOD REALTOR
This is one occasion to be grateful for Italian red tape. All realtors must be professionally licensed and qualified, insured and registered at a Chambers of Commerce. Check their website and letterheads to ensure they belong to one of the following respected organisations: FIAIP (Federation of Professional Estate Agents), FIMAA (Federation of Mediators and Agents) or AICI (Italian Association of Estate Agents).
4) DON’T TAKE ON TOO MUCH
Don’t over-commit yourself. The idea of renovating an old rustic ruin may sound romantic but are you prepared for the work and expense it involves? Compete restorations can cost up to Euro 1, 500 per sq m. Other common errors include buying property far bigger than you strictly need. A large farmhouse with pool and 5 hectares of olive groves and vineyards sounds fantastic, but don’t ignore the maintenance involved.
5) ENGAGE A LAWYER
Despite facing a completely unfamiliar legal system in an unfamiliar language, a number of foreign buyers still cut corners by blustering their way through the Italian purchasing process without a lawyer (avvocato).
The inherent dangers of this approach are countless. First, many end up signing documents they do not understand and then find themselves bound to an irrevocable legal commitment. Second, it means a number of vital checks that a good lawyer would carry out instead go ignored.
They include ensuring the vendor has a registered title and is legally authorised to sell. Where a property is jointly owned by a number of family members, a frequent occurrence in Italy, all must agree to the sale And the property and all subsequent alterations must have proper planning permission.