Overseas buyers seeking out new, unknown areas of Italy

There is no longer a single area of Italy where overseas investors want to buy property but many are looking for a new, undiscovered part of the country, new research suggests.

They are looking for a less touristy and more authentic Italian lifestyle with the right property to match, according to the latest bi-annual analysis report from Italian property portal Gate-away.

It reveals that Salento has experienced major growth in recent years among international buyers, with an increase of 12.91% in the first half of 2018 compared to the first six months in 2017.

It is followed by Lake Como, which is always very popular but requests are down 22.6% in favour of other lakes which have been less known to non¬-Italian investors before now, such as Lake Iseo, up 76.98%, and Lake Maggiore up 64.65%.

Lunigiana has also had an upturn of 21.91%. It is a little known territory straddling Tuscany and Liguria and is still little touched by mass tourism and offers properties at very affordable prices as well as Maremma in southern Tuscany.

According to Simone Rossi, general manager of Gate¬-away these areas are attracting more and more attention from international buyers to the detriment of other more famous areas such as Chianti, up 25.5%.

The analysis reveals that interest in Italian property from overseas tends to go up and down depending on the political and economic situation. In January and February this year, the number of enquiries increased substantially by 49.31% compared to the same months the previous year.

But with the approach of the elections this percentage began to fall so that in March, April and May the interest in Italian real estate assets overall was only up 5.38%.

In May, for example, in the climate of uncertainty which seemed to be leading back to the polls, Gate-¬away registered a negative ¬7.81% for the first time since the portal was founded 10 years ago. But by June the trend had start to grow again.

Rossi pointed out that the change in Government has had an impact but the general increase of 17.1% in enquiries registered between the beginning of January and the end of June, compared to the same period in 2017, demonstrates that nothing can stop the search for a second home in Italy.

‘The figures speak for themselves. It is evident that the formation of a government after a long struggle has reassured international investors. The stakes in the last elections were very high and created a lot of uncertainty in possible home buyers, for whom investing in a second home in an Italy with an unclear future would have been risky,’ he said.

In terms of where overseas buyers come from, the research shows that the highest number, some 17.23% are from the United States, followed by 14.7% from Germany and 13.94% from the UK. Indeed the number of British people looking for property in Italy us up 14.52% in the first six months of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017.

The research also suggest that the Italian second home and holiday home market is attractive to people who holiday in the country and decide to buy a house. Some 49,5% of survey respondents said they had come to Italy in 2017 at least two or more times and in 30.7% of the cases they had come on holiday and, in the meantime, to look for their dream home.

And a portion of them, some 7.3%, said that they planned their trip to Italy specifically to look at properties they had seen on the internet and were interested in buying.