New tax laws helps flagging Italian property market

Property in Italy could be set to see a renewed surge of interest from foreign buyers thanks to changes in the tax laws.

Although the market in Italy has remained consistently popular over the years, it has recently been 'flagging' as a result of high purchase costs. Charges have been as much as a fifth of the asking price at times, making the overall cost of buying an Italian property too much for many prospective investors.

However, the government has now slashed these costs to a more reasonable level, making some properties up to 13 % cheaper as a result. This is expected to revitalise the Italian market and lead to more people considering buying property in the country.

Private property buyers in Italy, including those who purchase property as a holiday home, will now benefit substantially from new tax laws. Modifications include no capital gains tax after five years.

Purchase costs that were once 15-17 % have decreased to a low 4-5 %. In many cases, this will be a huge financial gain for those who consider purchasing property in Italy.

In addition, those who wish to buy a holiday home and plan to stay for five years or more will benefit from paying no capital gains tax, the price of which once cost 12%.

It is also expected that inheritance tax will only be mandatory on properties of high value properties, while the cost of inheritance tax remains much lower than that in the UK.

For example a two bedroom apartment in Caneto would have had taxes of £16,500. Under the new rulings this figure drops dramatically to around just £2,250. 'The savings are evident for all to see,' said Sarah Ferrara, overseas property specialist. 'If the owner becomes an Italian resident within 18 months of purchase this figure drops again to around just £600,' she added.

Ferrara predicts that the new tax laws will encourage a large number of people to consider investment in the Italian property market, which has performed well over the last 10 years.