Resicom – Holiday Investment – 04-21 – LB

Rome – The Eternal City for Property Investment

Rome is called the Eternal City because ancient Romans believed that no matter what happened to the world or how many empires came and collapsed, Rome would go on forever.

The enduring quality of the city continues even to this day, as Rome remains one of the most vibrant cities and a leading tourist destination in Europe.

The Italian property market suffered the same as most countries in the world from the financial crisis, and property values nationally are still down around 30 per cent from 2010.

However, recovery began in 2014, and although prices still fell slightly in 2016 the market finally seems to have turned the corner.

Rome fell slightly less than most areas of Italy, with prices down around 25 per cent from 2010, and with historically low interest rates and government incentives proving successful, the eternal city is expected to lead the Italian property recovery along with Milan.

Around 80 per cent of Italians are homeowners, and politicians are reluctant to raise taxes on primary residences. Second homes are not highly taxed either, compared to those in other European countries and the United States.

Overseas property investors are well represented in Rome. At the lower end of the luxury market, about 20 per cent of buyers are foreign, and as prices go up, the share of foreign buyers increases.

According to Diletta Giorgolo Spinola, the head of sales for Central and Southern Italy for Italy Sotheby’s International Realty, The United States provide the most foreign investors, who are taking advantage of the strong dollar and Italy’s lowered prices, followed by those from France, Britain and Switzerland.

The resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in December seems to have had little effect on the market, because Italian real estate is relatively impervious to political upheaval. As Ms. Giorgolo Spinola put it: ‘If every time we would have a political change, it would impact us, then we would be in a real mess.’

Wealthy foreign buyers typically want homes in centrally located historic buildings, preferably on higher floors or in penthouses with terraces that have panoramic views. They are also interested in villas with gardens just outside the historic center.

Along with the historic city centre, desirable areas also include the Gianicolo, Monti and Parioli, Via Veneto, Pinciano, Villa Borghese and the areas around Villa Ada and Villa Torlonia.

Because of reciprocal legislation, citizens of some countries face restrictions when buying real estate in Italy, but those from Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia are not among them.

With the property market now recovering, it seems that the attraction of Rome to overseas property investors will remain eternal.

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