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  • Cheapest property in Italy? Head for Calabria

Cheapest property in Italy? Head for Calabria

Property in Italy tends to be more affordable the further south you go. That fact was dramatically underlined in a new survey this week, naming Vibo Valentia in Calabria as the cheapest place in which to buy Italian property.

In this sunny Calabrian resort, a home in the suburbs will typically set you back just €350 per square metre – around €70,000 for a 200sq m property – and a mere €400 per square metre for a property in the so-called “semi-central” districts of the town.

Close on Vibo Valentia’s heels come Crotone (Calabria), Taranto (Puglia) and Nuoro (Sardinia), at €450 per square metre for a “semi-central” property, and Trapani (Sicily), where that rises to €480 per square metre – again, a not-unreasonable €96,000 for a 200sq m home.

In sharp contrast, perhaps it was no surprise to find Venice confirmed as the most expensive city in which to buy property in Italy.

To visit the world's most romantic city may be priceless, but if you fancy owning a home here you face paying an average €9,500 per sq metre, according to research by Borsino Immobiliare di Confedilizia.

Second and third on the list are – again no great surprise – Rome and Milan, €7,800 and €7,500 per sq metre respectively.

The same three cities head the table for so-called semi-central zones. Thus, buying a property in Italy just outside the centre of Venice will typically set you back €6,200 per square metre – €5,500 in Milan and €4,600 in Rome.

Similar story if your property in Italy search takes you to the outskirts of a city. A typical home or apartment in the suburbs of Venice will set you back €3,800 per sq metre, €200 pricier than the Italian capital Rome and €600 pricier than the fashion capital Milan.

Confedilizia examined 104 areas in Italy – 47 in the north, 25 in the centre and 32 in the south. The organisation now predicts prices across Italy will remain broadly steady in 2009.

Confedilizia chief Corrado Sforza Fogliani said: “In 2008 we had forecast a fall in transactions and there a drop in house prices, and so it turned out. In 2009, instead, we are convinced that there will be a stability both in the number of transactions and in prices.”

Mr Fogliani also predicts a revival of the rented property sector as Italian families still find difficulty obtaining mortgages from Italy’s notoriously conservative lenders.

He added: “The forecasts of a year ago have been confirmed about the significant increase during the course of 2008 in the number of rental contracts as a result of several factors, among which was rising mortgage interest rates.

"For 2009, we forecast a consolidation in the increased take-up of home rentals, above all because of the enduring difficulties households face in getting credit.”

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