Russians boost Puglia property market

June 2nd, 2009 | by Ainsley |

Among the most unique type of home in the property for sale in Italy market are the trulli of Puglia, traditional whitewashed stone houses with conical roofs. Puglia property, of course, is also famous for its masserie – the fortified farmhouses also common in Sicily.

Now it seems that the market for these unique examples of Puglia property is booming, thanks to Russian buyers. This new wave of Eastern European investors are buying in the hills straddling Brindisi, Bari and Taranto – three of Puglia’s six provinces – and look set to become the new lords of the manor in the Itria Valley, replacing earlier British purchasers.

Indeed, many Britons, having bought and lovingly renovated trulli in Puglia, are now increasingly putting them up for sale and cashing in on the new surge in demand. As one Puglian real estate agent, Piero D’Amico, commented: “Who said the market was in crisis?”

He continued: “The fact that today’s clients reflect for longer before they invest and rightly want to see more properties before they decide has been mistaken for a stagnant market.” Mr D’Amico believes that although sales of rustic trulli needing renovation remain sluggish, sales for already-restored trulli is booming.

He believes customers with medium to high-spending power are driving this resurgence in demand. Typically they have budgets of €250,000-€350,000, enough to get a lovely trulli complex of four to six cones, including at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with the presence of a swimming pool naturally raises the price. Significantly larger trulli tend to go for €450,000-€500,000.

The new Russian investors – who Mr D’Amico believes are mainly money-market financiers – are snapping up Puglia property in areas such as Ceglie, Cisternino and Martina Franca.  Also moving into the market are developers who look to buy old abandoned complexes and restore them for minimum outlay, then sell for a tidy profit.

Puglia, of course, is a stunning region overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Famous foreigners who have bought homes in Puglia include Dame Helen Mirren, who owns a 500-year-old €785,000 castle in Tiggiano that she is said to have bought to mark her 2007 Oscar for The Queen. As Mr D’Amico puts it: “We do not sell just houses, we’re selling pieces of history, great scenery, hospitality and unmatchable cuisine.”

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