Italy Property Investment For Sale
Investments
Knowledge Centre

Home  »  Knowledge Centre  »  Italy

Italy Property Investment For Sale

 

"A mature holiday market with a myriad of culture experiences."

 

Home to magnificent beaches, unspoilt countryside, ancient cities, and a vibrant cultural history which spams centuries of influence and as is the birthplace of Dante, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michael Angelo and opera, Italy is one of the top five most visited countries in the world.  Italy also is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world.  With an enviable Mediterranean climate, Italy attracts lovers of the outdoors with its climbing and skiing opportunities in the mountains, hiking in the breath taking beauty of Tuscany and Umbria to the long coastline of beaches.

With one of the largest economies in the euro-zone Italy’s economy is driven largely by the manufacture of high quality consumer goods including clothing, leather and cars but also by a large underground economy.  It is also a country of two nations with the developed industrial north with its powerhouse of private companies controlling much of the countries wealth whilst the highly subsidised agricultural south suffers high unemployment.  With a history of much corruption, labour market inefficiencies and tax avoidance Italy has not fared well since the international economic crisis and has very high youth employment issues.

Whilst many people will still choose Italy as a lifestyle second home destination this is not a cheap place to buy in and it you are buying an old house to renovate (as many foreigners do) then you should be aware that bureaucratic processes can be long and complicated especially around planning permission.

Country Guide

Geography

Italy is a long peninsula, shaped like a boot and surrounded on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the east by the Adriatic. It is bordered by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia to the north. The Apennine Mountains form the peninsula's backbone; the Alps form its northern boundary. Several islands form part of Italy, the largest being Sicily and Sardinia.

Government

Italy has had a bicameral parliament since 1948. The government underwent major changes from 1992-1997 due to significant challenges from voters who were disenchanted with the government debt, corruption and the influence of organized crime; they demanded political, economic and ethical reforms. However Italy still suffers from much corruption and tax avoidance which has resulted in much economic suffering.

Language

Standard Italian is the official language of Italy, however other languages are spoken including French, German and Slovenian near the borders of the respective countries. The largest group of non-Italian speakers in Italy is the 1.3million who speak Sardinian. There are also some Italian dialects considered as completely separate to Italian, examples being Venetian, Neapolitan and Sicilian.

Standard of Living

Italy has an excellent standard of living.  The country has a high life expectancy and in a 2005 worldwide quality of life survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Italy ranked at 8th in the world ahead of the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand taking into account factors including health, family and community life, job security and political freedom.  However much of the wealth is based in the north whilst the agricultural south suffers from more proverty and unemployment.

 

Country Economy

Italy's economic strength is in the processing and manufacturing of goods, primarily in small and medium sized family-owned firms. The country has been less successful in terms of developing world class multinational corporations. In addition, the small and medium-sized firms typically manufacture products that are moderately technologically advanced and therefore face international competition.  Italy however is the 7th largest exporter in the world and has an competitive agricutural secor and is the world's largest wine producer

Key industries:

Italy's major exports are precision machinery, high quality motor vehicles, chemicals and electric goods, but the country's more famous exports are in the fields of food, wine, fashion clothing, and luxury vehicles.

 

Hotspots

Tuscany

Italy's best known tourist region is probably Tuscany, with the areas around Pisa, Siena and Florence being the first place many think of when looking for second homes. The blankets of countryside and quaint hilltop towns and villages throughout the region show what life was like in ages past – this area is truly the heart of Italy and the region is home to Chianti wine. However, high demand fuelled by the availability of cheap flights to Pisa, means that Tuscany is now every bit as expensive as it is lovely. However, the north of the region is considerably more affordable as it is often overlooked due to its mountainous setting.

Puglia and Le Marche

The up and coming regions of Le Marche and Puglia were, until recently, unknown by tourists. However, due to the efforts of the regional tourist board these areas have become increasingly popular. The region boasts the elegant towns of Urbino and Macerata, with Urbino recently being hailed as 'The ideal city of the Renaissance' and 'The Siena of Le Marche'.   

The attractions of Puglia are year-round sunshine, a good variety of beaches, affordable house prices and a less tourist-orientated atmosphere, while low cost flights allow for easy access through Bari and Brindisi airports. 

Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan. 

Investors seeking rental potential should look to the larger cities, such as Rome, Florence, Venice or Milan. These areas symbolise Italy both in their spectacular historic architecture and in their fashionable shopping districts, which are considered to be some of the best in the world.

The Italian Lakes

The Alpine region around the lakes is a playground for many wealthy Italian second-home owners thanks to its proximity to Milan. This part of Italy boasts the romantic lakes of Como, Maggiore, Garda and Lugano, but also has a huge range of property available, from period villas to brand new apartments. The area attracts people of all ages, and there are a variety of year-round activities including water-sports, fishing, and skiing in the winter.

Sicily and Sardinia

It is also a good idea to consider Sicily and the increasingly fashionable Sardinia, both of which offer perfect climates, great beaches and their own cultural idiosyncrasies. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate. The island offers beautiful rural countryside to visitors stemming from its largely agricultural history and culture. Sardinia is second in size to Sicily and close to the French island of Corsica. Largely mountainous, the island does offer some coastal plains with beautiful beaches and opportunities to scuba dive, wind and kite surf. 

Basilicata

For lower prices, the more adventurous buyer might consider Basilicata, although this is well and truly off the tourist map. The area is one of the poorer regions of Italy and leads a quiet understated lifestyle. It is worth noting that the south of Italy, in general, is considerably less affluent than the north; the service infrastructure is less reliable and local government corruption can be a problem. Unemployment is relatively high here too.

Umbria

Situated near Tuscany, Umbria is a sleepy, verdant region dotted with medieval towns and castles. It is easily accessible and is often cited as a cheaper alternative to Tuscany, although prices here have also shot up in recent years. Property tends to be most expensive in the two main tourist towns, Orvieto and Assisi, and also in the south of the region. More reasonable prices can be found around Lake Trasimeno and further north around Citta Di Castello and Umbertide.

Latest Opportunities

Get The Latest Investment Opportunities Sent To Your Inbox

Fill in the form below:

Drop us a line



We will treat your data with respect and never use them for any reason other than to send you investment opportunities. You can find the details in our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

If you would prefer not to hear from us, you can stop receiving our updates at any time by getting in touch or letting us know in our Preference Centre.

Property Frontiers Awards

The award winning international investment specialists & founder member of the Association of International Property Professionals

Follow us...

  • Befriend Property Frontiers on Facebook
  • Follow Property Frontiers on Twitter
  • Follow Property Frontiers on LinkedIn
  • Watch property investment videos on the Property Frontiers YouTube channel
  • Property investment news from Property Frontiers
  • Read property investment commentary on the Property Frontiers blog