Real Estate in cities

Investing in  apartments and houses for sale in Italian major cities.

Helpful Guide to Finding Places for Sale in Italy

As regards, the sale of houses or apartments, as mentioned above these can be quite expensive in the center of the larger cities, or in fashionable neighborhoods.

In the last four years, the price of housing in Rome and all other major cities has risen substantially.   In addition, the increase in the value of the Euro vs the US dollar (about 50 percent over the last 4 years) makes the price of housing in terms of US dollars much higher.   However, this situation may not last forever.


For one thing, a strengthening of the US dollar over the medium term,  could occur particularly if there is an international perception that action is being taken to contain the US budget deficit.   In addition the enlargement of the European Union to many new members in Eastern and southern Europe could contribute to a weaker Euro as resources are shifted from productivity enhancement in the original EU members to social expenditures which will give returns over a much longer time horizon.   So, if the dollar value were to regain the near parity level with the Euro of some 4 years ago, housing costs expressed in terms of US dollars would be some 30 percent less.   The exchange rate is to be closely watched if you are considering buying property in Italy.

However, irrespective of exchange rate movements, buying property in Italy can be a very attractive investment.   The property market shows remarkable growth over the long run, running well ahead of inflation rates, and all signs point to continued strength in the housing sales market. There are several reasons for the strength of the property market in Italy.    First of all there is a pervasive and deep-seated distrust of Italian investors in the stock market.   Only recently, had this distrust begun to dissolve as investors began to timidly play the market.   However, this experimentation came to an abrupt halt as a result of several events, including the general weakness of stock markets internationally, the default by Argentina which caused massive losses to Italian investors, and the recent financial scandals of major companies, in particular the Parmalat which was facing bankruptcy.

As a result of these events, Italian investors have returned in mass to invest in "bricks", and many years will pass before they again consider financial markets as a possible alternative for investment.   The attractiveness of investment in housing reinforces the basic aspiration of all Italians to own their own home.   So if you are thinking of buying a house in Italy, this can be a good investment as long as you buy in attractive areas which will continue to be in demand. Consider paying a bit more for a house or apartment in an area where values will continue to escalate and where you will have no trouble in reselling if you decide to return to your home country.

As an aside, one explanation about how Italians manage to buy houses despite their low salaries and the relatively high costs of housing is that Italians actually save a much larger share of their income than, say, Americans.   Buying on credit is much less developed than in the US, although it is growing rapidly and the "indebtedness" of families is rising. In addition, Italians often have more than one job, particularly the government employees who work until 2.00 p.m. They take on all sorts of additional jobs which bolster family and personal income.   Finally, there is reportedly a certain amount of fantasy in reporting income for fiscal purposes.

Whatever the truth may be, one thing is certain and that is that the Italian real estate market is alive and thriving and is likely to continue to be a star performer in the future.

Financing your Investment ( to be edited ):

Of course an an obvious way to finance your purchase is by Renting your property: If you buy an apartment in a major city like Rome, Florence, Bologna it will be quite easy to rent the apartment as long as it will be located  in centrally located area. The apartment can be rented all year around. You will have to consider anyway  some periods when the apartment will be vacant and of course a rental agency fee will take a percentage of the profit. Website just like this will ba able to show your rentals but you will still have to handle keys, cleaning, and anything that might be required.