Lake Garda ticks all the boxes for investment in gloomy times

When in Rome do as the Romans do - when in Italy do as the Italians do and that means investing in property around Lake Garda, according to a leading agency.

Favoured by Italians wanting second homes and places to visit for the weekend, the Lake Garda area is seeing renewed international interest because it ticks all the right boxes in terms of investing in property under the current difficult economic climate.

'The professionals within the industry will highlight again and again just how important it is to invest in an area that is attractive to locals, within a market that is already established and one that has the means and infrastructure to continue being popular to all. The term "investment property" should mean just that. How will my property increase in value and over what time period? What are my rental opportunities and how will I realise my profit when the time is right to cash in my investment? These must be the main credentials,' said Sarah Ferrara, Managing Director of Garda Homes.

'Straight forward questions such as these should provide straight forward answers rather than relying on vague promises of vast returns with no basis in fact. The cheapest property doesn't necessary translate into the best investment,' she added.

The area has world class facilities and is located within range of six airports. But until recently has been largely overlooked as perhaps being too pricey for the mass market. But Ms Ferrara says its advantages are not always taken into account when budgeting.

'Many popular overseas destinations suffer from a lack of accessibility, meaning travel time can be increased and flights cost a premium. The same cannot be said of Lake Garda which has an abundance of airports and competitive carriers,' she said.

Daily low-cost flights can be found from every part of the UK including Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Bournemouth, Bristol, East Midlands, Liverpool, Luton, Newcastle, Dublin, Shannon, Belfast and Glasgow.

Once there day trips to Milan, Venice, Verona and Rome, as well as other major European cities, are easily achievable. There are designer shops, street cafes, restaurants and trattorias. Outdoor pursuits include water sports, hiking, rock climbing, horse riding, mountain biking, golf and tennis.

Visitors between the months of November and April are only 40 minutes drive away from the nearest ski slopes and world class ski resorts such as Madonna di Campiglio is under two hours away.

Tough building controls mean the area is never going to be over exploited. Development is limited to two storey new builds and local materials such as marble, stone and brick must used in construction.

'The prices may not be as attractive as the budget regions but it is a market that will perform and tick all the boxes on an investor's checklist and many buyers may be surprised at what good value for money the area can offer,' she concluded.