Buyers Bagging Bargains in Europe, but Italy Property, really?

Op-Ed, Real EstateEurope
Rich architecture in Pisa, Italy

The Daily Telegraph has just published figures from foreign exchange firm Currencies.co.uk, which shows that British buyers are heading to Europe’s distressed markets to snap up bargain properties, with Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Italy being mentioned as benefiting from the trend. However, in the case of Italy property it is entirely possible that something else is driving demand.

This has to be said because according to the Bank of Italy, Italian property prices have not fallen anywhere near as drastically as those mentioned above, and have shown real signs of stability in recent times, according to the figures recently published by the Global Property Guide. Thus it is entirely possible that the waves of buyers are heading out to buy property in Italy because it has been proven a stable asset capable of holding its value even in torrid times.

Then you have Calabria. During the last 18 months of the boom, Calabria property rose to fame as an emerging market within an estabilished market; in that it offered property at emerging market prices, within the established market of Italy. Now, with the EU just having pledged millions of Euros of investment into the region, and a slew of new flights from the UK, including — low cost flights –, Calabria is once again seeing rising popularity among foreign property buyers.

That is not to say you can’t find bargains in Italy. If you listened to the official Spanish indices you would only think Spanish property prices had fallen about 10%, but agents tell of drops of up to 40%. It is the same in Italy, official figures are one thing, but you find a property that needs a bit of work, or has been on the market a bit long for the owner’s liking and you stand a good chance of securing a bargain.

Posted by Liam Bailey in Op-Ed, Real Estate, June 9th, 2011