Why now is the ideal time to invest in Italian property

July 12th, 2016 | by Ainsley |

If you are still pondering whether to invest in the Italian property market, many experts think there is no better time. There are so many signs that point to this summer in Italy presenting a safe opportunity for investment.

House Shop

News and speculation on Italy’s property market

The price of housing in Italy is stabilising. The year 2014 presented the first signs of recovery since the recession in 2008. Prices in Italy are still eminently reasonable compared to a number of other EU countries.

Indeed, many experts consider that Italy currently has the best property deals in Europe.

This has made the Italian property market easily affordable and accessible for locals as well as foreign investors interested in moving to the country.

Furthermore, reasonably priced mortgage rates and lenders that are now more eager to give loans make the property landscape more appealing.

There are several great value real estate centres, many already popular with global investors — places such as Puglia, Lake Como and Tuscany, as well as the Dolomites and Le Marche, where houses are up to a third less expensive than in Tuscany.

In these locations, you will discover an extensive range of property at attractive prices — and you may even be able to negotiate lower prices.

Take advantage of cheaper prices

For bargain seekers, there is a growing market for property lower than €150,000, and it is expected to remain so throughout 2016.

The upturn from the recession has been particularly noticeable in bigger cities where prices had fallen by 30 percent compared to a decade ago. An upward turning property market in a region that has seen such price dips is going to attract more investors.

However, nothing is guaranteed in the currency markets, making it necessary to keep watching the marketplace performance and factors responsible for changes. Carpe diem, because in  Il Bel Paese property costs have been predicted to rise by the year’s end.

Tax-benefits on your Italian property in 2016

Buyers need to budget an additional ten per cent on top of property prices to cover additional costs. This is for items such as agency fees, stamp duty, legal costs and so on. However, the cost of owning property in Italy is low, particularly when compared to other countries. There is no capital gains tax if you sell after five years and no inheritance tax. Italy has also, in recent years, taken steps to simplify the buying process for foreign investors.

In addition, the Government has introduced policies to reduce the financial burden of property taxes with the introduction of finanziaria 2016. This means that home owners registered for Italian residency, as long as they aren’t buying luxury dwellings, are exempt from Tasi, the compulsory tax paid for community services such as road maintenance, garbage removal, street lighting etc.

Things to bear in mind before buying in Italy

  • Prices

As Sarah Copleston  from the House Shop explains, out unlike in, say, the London property market, Italian prices will more often than not be negotiable — sometimes by as much as ten or 15 per cent off the advertised prices.  Note that this is not a hard and fast rule.

  • Habitability certificate

Inquire from your seller/agent if the property has a habitability certificate. If it does not, you can use the opportunity to negotiate on price, because the vendor is mandated by law to provide a certificate if selling a residential property that needs no renovation. However, if you wish to, you may ask your vendor to start the process of obtaining one.

  • Mortgages

At present it is possible to obtain mortgages of up to 75 per cent. Note that mortgages are almost never given for properties worth less than €80,000.

  • Italian agents

Agent fees can be due as soon as an offer is agreed upon. Some agents act for both buyer and seller. In order to get a secure deal that is suitable for you, hire a personal, independent professional who will work solely with your best interests at heart. It also helps to get a good English-speaking Italian lawyer with a lot of experience if English is your mother tongue. Don’t hesitate, now is the time to get your dream property in Italy.

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