News: Italy fits the bill for wary investors

Thu, 22 Nov 07

Investors are increasingly opting for established Markets like Italy...

The ‘new’ Eastern European countries have dominated the headlines is recent years, with promises of sustained capital appreciation, however a decidedly chilly front has hit these eastern markets and led shrewd investors to concentrate on established markets, with Italy being one of the biggest benefactors to date.

Trinidad Passerini, Managing Director of Precious Villas, says, “The decline in property investment in Eastern European countries is Italy’s gain. The general feeling amongst investors into the east was that profits were not going to achieve the heady heights first forecast.

“With potential profit forecasts considerable readjusted, serious investors have had to wrestle with their conscience as to what else these emerging markets have to offer. The truthful answer is very little, especially when you look at mature markets such as Italy. Italy is a country that offers so much, with its long standing history, culture, a stable economy and good infrastructures.”

Italy stands out

Trinidad continues, “Italy fits most investor’s criteria and with its wealth of history has always been a popular destination. However it is the current government’s ambitions to safeguard the continued development of Italy that really stands out. Plans have already been laid down to tighten existing building regulations within the next couple of years and they are also targeted to achieve zero carbon homes by 2016.”

“These stringent new planning laws mean that developers have less freedom and therefore there is less danger of overdevelopment or ‘blots’ on the landscape. No longer are green field sites acceptable for new developments unless special permission is granted.

Developers will have to be able to prove that the said development would be beneficial to the local community, inspiring the economy or capable of attracting more tourists. With the landscape of Italy now protected, this is sending strong signals to property investors who realise this buoyant market is perfectly placed for an even brighter future.”

Financially interesting

Italy is now perceived as ‘financially interesting’. This in turn, has seen the numbers investing here increase significantly, with homeowners achieving more capital appreciation as the market re-establishes itself.

One particular point of interest, which perhaps is not common knowledge, is that in 2001 the government abolished inheritance tax. This was a clear signal by the Italian government to encourage more investment and those who are looking for financial incentives without being penalised can bank on Italy as a country that is working in tandem with the investor.

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