One of the many benefits of the after-effect of the recession in Italy has been the evolution of property investment. Compared to the past, Italy’s property prices are stable and this, coupled with a boom of developments and renovations, means that the time is ripe for investment.
The real estate ads may be irresistible, but what often stands in the way of most investors in Italy is a complicated bureaucratic system, which can quickly turn your dreams of basking under the Tuscan sun into a nightmare if you don’t seek the right support. The golden rule is to find help: as well as notable domestic agencies, many international luxury property agents have registered affiliates in Italy.
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Beyond understanding the state of the market, it’s essential to consider how a purchase fits into your life, and how prepared you are to maintain a home abroad or rent one out. Spend a good amount of time in the area, rent a house, meet the locals and run errands.
What makes Italy a worthwhile country for investment? “The country really sells itself,” says David Branch, Managing Director of Christie’s Real Estate. “Many homeowners have remodelled and extended their own homes, investing in the highest-quality materials and craftsmanship.” Design standards are better and more intricate than ever before, meaning the impact on Italy’s housing market has been prodigious.
Conveniently poised between Siena and Florence, the Tuscan Chianti Estate is one of the loveliest properties on the market. Comprising two large villas, a spa and three swimming pools, the estate overlooks refined gardens, olive groves and the Tuscan countryside. It combines the best of old-world of Italian architecture, but has been lovingly restored to offer one of the best holiday homes in the world.
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One of the most extraordinary developments in recent years is La Tiara di Cervo, on the Costa Smeralda, in northern Sardinia. The locations’ golden beaches and emerald waters have long been a destination for jet-setters and yachters coming from Monaco and the Italian Riviera. The first development of its kind in over 50 years in the area, each of the hand crafted, luxury serviced villas and penthouses offers bespoke concierge services, underground parking, in-residence catering and personal shopping services, as well as private beaches and views over Porto Cervo and the La Maddalena Island.
Branch believes that “Porto Cervo really is an international hotspot. Olbia private airport has over 100 flights a day, with many of the visitors here attracted by the perfect harmony in which they can live within the surroundings.” The villas were all built by local artisans using San Giacomo granite, teak and marble. “A real pull of this development is that all the villas are serviced, every whim and need will be catered for,” meaning that whether you choose to live here for one month or all year, all upkeep and maintenance is taken care of.
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Stresa Luxury Real Estate specialises in lakeside properties and offers clients a beginning-to-end service. “Properties here don’t lose their value, there’s limited space and high restrictions on building,” explains Stresa’s Francesco Papurello, “meaning that when you buy, you’re likely to see good inflation from then on.” If you’re looking for year-round enjoyment, Italy’s northern lakes are ideally situated: sun-soaked in the summer and close to ski resorts in winter, they’re also the best connected, with multiple daily flights to Milan from international destinations.
The demands are high in Italy, but buyers can be confident that it will prove a wise investment. “Working with the right people means you save the headache of bureaucracy,” concludes Branch. “Each area is unique and the atmosphere so special. It’s a wonderful place to live.”
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