Thu, 06 Sep 07
Interest in Italy from visitors to TheMoveChannel.com has soared over the last month, with the sun-kissed Mediterranean paradise usurping perennially popular France to claim top spot in our ‘Top of the Props’ chart...
Italy has been revolutionised in recent years with the arrival of budget airlines, which have had a major impact on the property market. Property prices are now increasing at between 10% - 15% per annum and the number of UK residents now looking to invest is at an all time high, as reflected by the rising interest from visitors to TheMoveChannel.com.
Emerging markets driving huge growth
Potential investors may be surprised to learn that Italy’s emerging markets are increasingly responsible for the new wave of growth. Beautiful places such as Sicily, Abbruzzo and Italy’s ‘jewel of the sun’, Calabria, are enticing overseas buyers and offering quite outstanding value for money.
The stunning paradise of Calabria is being heralded as the new ‘hot spot’, and the last remaining low-risk, emerging market in one of Europe’s richest nations. It comes with all the benefits of being part of a respected and established market and member of the European Union, and has the distinct advantage of a credible, non-resident mortgage market, with up to 80% loan to value available from lenders such as Barclays and GE Capital.
Calabria is Southern Italy at its most magnificent, and the coast facing Sicily was described by the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio as ‘...the most beautiful kilometre in Italy. The Sunday Times even put the Calabrian resort of Tropea at number one spot in its ‘Top 20 Beaches’ report of January this year... but better still, property can still be snapped up for as little as €45,000 (just £30,000!).
Incredibly, Calabria is relatively unknown and has only recently begun its ascent as an up-and-coming market. This really is an incredible window of opportunity that families, holiday-home hunters, retirees and investors alike will not want to miss out on. Prices are already rising rapidly as developers struggle to meet the demand of investors, who are snapping up bargains as quickly as they are being put on the market.
Chris Sawyer, GEM Estates Calabria expert, comments: investors who shy away from emerging markets due to the perceived high risk may have been won over by the low risk option of Calabria, which although emerging has the might of Italy behind it.
Prices are unbelievably low, with off-plan apartments from €45,000, and capital appreciation is tipped to be between 15 and 20% per annum for the next five years due to low entry level prices in comparison with the rest of Italy, and the expected improvements in infrastructure as part of the cohesion plan.
The low-cost airlines are also doing their bit to up demand, Lamezia Terme Airport is just two-and-a-half hours by direct flight from the UK, and currently Ryanair flies five times a week from Stansted and ThomsonFly once a week from both Manchester and Gatwick’.
Authentic taste of Italy
Long ignored by investors, Sicily is beginning to attract overseas buyers like never before. Anyone flying into Sicily is likely to arrive at Palermo. Sitting on the north coast, this is a terrific mix of age-old sights, such as the Cattedrale, the Palazzo dei Normanni, the Capella Palatina and marvellous Norman churches such as Savn Giovanni degli Eremeti and La Martorana.
EU and Italian government money has revitalised Palermo, and this offers a superb opportunity for those looking for Italian real estate, having good transport links, beautiful countryside nearby, and a good coastline peppered with lovely little resorts and fine beaches. The A29 highway runs along the northern coastline, linking Palermo to the resort of Cefalu to the east, and the lovely town of Trapani on the west coast.
Eddy Crompton, director of RealPoint Property, enthused: "The Italian property market is riding high and it is the new areas that are reaping the rewards. Sicily benefits from good flight connections and an excellent year-round climate, as well as property prices that are surprisingly cheap. A two bedroom apartment on the island can still be bought for around £85,000.
Mr Crompton concluded: Sicily will appeal to the investor who wants to get into a growing market with excellent potential for capital growth and a strong rental market".
Managing director of medpropertyshop.com, Annie Temple, added: "Tuscany is the most popular place. Other places are up and coming though, like Calabria - that's doing very, very well."
"The main markets in Italy are Tuscany and Umbria. Then it goes to Le Marche, Puglia and then Abruzzo and Calabria. That's how it runs," she concluded.
Other risers and fallers
Alongside Italy, India recorded an amazing leap of 19 places, smashing into the top 10 to take 8th position. Bulgaria and Turkey also continued to attract a lot of interest from TheMoveChannel visitors, moving up the Top of the Props chart by 3 and 4 places respectively.
Countries which fared less well this month included Cyprus (Down 5 places to 10th place), Sweden (down 5 to 21st) and Hungary (down 12 to 31st).
To view current opportunities in the Italian property market, go to:
To view the TOTP chart, go to:
Overall Enquiry Volume for August 2007
1 month in top spot
Highest climber And New to top 10!
Highest New Entry
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