Italy’s variety of alluring properties for sale, and the countless attractions that surround and enhance them, beckon to many a far-sighted investor and dream-filled traveler, and admiring one an 18th century golden-hued Tuscan farmhouse, or a snazzy apartment on the market in downtown Milan, many can hardly help thinking: how much do houses, estates and properties in general sell for in Italy?
The next question that pops into one’s mind is sure to be: who could I ask? Where could I get some no-nonsense, unbiased advice?
Well, our team is here, and eager to help! First and foremost, providing prospective foreign investors with a good overview of what the Italian real estate scenario looks like.
Size, type and looks aside, the factor that most impacts on a property’s cost, in Italy and everywhere else in the world, is its location. Quite clearly, in fact, homes located in the center of a thriving city will be more pricey than houses in little villages, or far from easily accessible conveniences, and dwelling in the countryside will differ in cost from those that rise in a sought-after seaside area.
Buy a property in Italy: where to start
So, how can a prospective foreign buyer get an idea of where to start his/her search for the perfect property in Italy?
Well, generally speaking, future proprietors will want to keep in mind that real estate tends to be more expensive in the most popular, and bigger, Italian cities. Homes and apartments in small towns are usually more affordable, simply because larger cities have prosperous business flows, which make for a more flexible real estate market. In addition to this, as elsewhere in the world it’s easier to rent a house in a big city, thanks to the diverse population, quantity of available jobs and a more attractive and versatile lifestyle. So, which Italian cities feature the highest-end properties? As of right now Rome, Venice, Milan, and Florence.
Prospective foreign purchasers in love with the sun, food and proverbial warmth typical of the Italy’s southernmost areas may be surprised (and happy!) to learn that aside from renowned vacation retreats such as Apulia’s Salento and the Amalfi Coast the whole of Southern Italy offers very cost-effective real estate options. This because the Southern regions’ white-washed charm and leisurely lifestyle can hardly outplay the daily strife for job opportunities and far-from-ideal facilities.
Besides location, the three most influential factors that impact the cost of real estate in Italy are:
- size, intended as the unit’s total square meters
- upkeep, i.e. good or bad repair conditions
- legal designation
As regards a property’s size and maintenance, these are both unmistakably relevant and self-evident elements: the bigger and more well-preserved a dwelling is, the more expensive it will be. Legal destination of buildings, as maintained by Italian law, is another story all together, and foreigners are bound to be unfamiliar with its complexity. Pursuant to current Italian legislation, all properties on the national soil are subject to being classified in keeping with prescribed use categories. This said, what investors need to know is that a property’s market price is very much determined by its appointed use. In some cases, Italian law may grant permission to change one’s property’s designated use, but this is not a habitual, nor easy and swift, procedure. In general, the most important issue a foreign purchaser should keep in mind is that real estate units formally classified as “civil habitations” will have a higher cost than the other categories.
Classification of properties in Italy
As concerns classification, Italian law maintains that properties be divided into groups, and each group exemplify a different kind of property.
In detail, the classification of properties in Italy is as follows below.
A / 1: stately homes. The difference between properties comprised in the A/1 cadastral category and residential homes is determined by their location (in prestigious areas), and the high degree of finishing
A / 2: civil dwellings. These are residential properties, where the vast majority of the population lives
A / 3: economic housing. Housing units built with low cost materials and finishes. They have a lower cadastral income, as well as a lower purchase price than homes that fall within class A / 2
A / 4: popular housing. Even lower level than economic properties, both in terms of finishing and construction features. No A/4 type houses are built in Italy nowadays.
A / 5: ultra-popular housing. The land registry gives the definition of “realities outside the minimum indispensable standards”. Through the note from the Ministry of Finance dated 4 May 1994 (C1 / 1022/94), classes A / 5 and A / 6 have been canceled
A / 6: rural dwellings. Properties for agricultural activities (suppressed by the decree of the Ministry of Finance together with class A / 5)
A / 7: houses in small villas. Buildings corresponding to civilian homes but with the addition of outdoor areas for exclusive use
A / 8: houses in villas. Properties with finishes and construction features superior to the ordinary, a very large surface area of the main areas and presence of park and / or garden
A / 9: castles, palaces of outstanding historical or artistic merit. These buildings are characterized by a distribution of volumes and internal spaces that is different from all the other properties classified in the land registry
A / 10: studios and private offices. Housing units intended for professional activities. These include insurance agencies, analysis laboratories and those used by dental technicians
A / 11: accommodation and houses typical of the places. The classic example of properties classified with category A / 11 is represented by the high altitude hut, but there are also trulli and the mountain huts themselves
B / 1: colleges, orphanages, convents, seminaries, shelters, hospices, barracks. The cadastral category B / 1 includes all those non-profit structures used for assistance for the elderly (hospices), for the education of minors (colleges, orphanages), for the spiritual preparation of young seminarians (seminaries), for the hospitality of the community of a mendicant order (convents), housing and the activity of the armed forces (barracks)
B / 2: non-profit hospitals and nursing homes. They are public hospitalization and care facilities, therefore non-profit
B / 3: reformers and prisons. The cadastral class B / 3 includes prisons for adults and minors
B / 4: public offices. By public offices we mean the INPS offices, the offices of the Revenue Agency and the territorial offices of the Chamber of Commerce
B / 5: scientific laboratories and schools. They are buildings built to host activities such as scientific research and education.
B / 6: academies, galleries, museums, art galleries, libraries (provided that they are not inside prestigious buildings and castles belonging to category A / 9). All the aforementioned non-profit cultural venues fall into the cadastral category B / 6
B / 7: oratories and chapels not intended for public worship. Buildings built to practice religion (not in public)
B / 8: underground warehouses for food storage. All warehouses arranged at a lower level than the ground floor whose function is to collect stocks
C / 1: commercial premises. The properties identified by the cadastral category C / 1 deal with the sale of products, such as shops and shops
C / 2: storage rooms and warehouses. Structures used as evacuation rooms, storage of goods and attics
C / 3: workshops for arts and crafts. Unlike commercial premises, buildings of cadastral class C / 3 are not intended for the sale of products, but for their creation or transformation by the craftsmen
C / 4: premises and buildings for non-profit sporting establishments. All private facilities where you train or where a sporting event is staged
C / 5: non-profit healing and bathing water establishments. Like category C / 4, these are private establishments
C / 6: non-profit garages, sheds, stables and stables. Structures such as garages, parking spaces or car boxes, but also stables and stables
C / 7: open or closed canopies. Any structure associated with a gazebo or canopy
D / 1: factories
D / 2: for-profit hotels. Hotels, and other accommodation facilities where tourists stay for a fee
D / 3: halls for shows and concerts, cinemas and theaters for profit. Plants where one or more artists perform in front of a paying audience
D / 4: for-profit hospitals and nursing homes. Private hospitalization and treatment facilities, where medical services are offered for a fee
D / 5: insurance, exchange or credit institutions for profit. The cadastral category D / 5 identifies banks and private insurance companies
D / 6: premises and buildings for profit-making sports establishments. Stadiums, sports halls, swimming pools and all sports facilities where the public has access by paying a ticket
D / 7: buildings built or adapted for the special needs of an industrial activity and not susceptible to different destination without radical transformations. Structures created specifically to carry out a specific activity, such as refueling stations
D / 8: buildings set up or adapted for the special needs of a commercial activity and not susceptible to a different destination without radical transformations. Shopping centers are included in class D / 8
D / 9: suspended or floating buildings secured to fixed points on the ground, private toll bridges. Buildings, constructions that do not have their own land
D / 10: rural buildings. This category includes all the old buildings outside the urban area
E / 1: stations for air, sea, land and transport services. Airports, ports and railway stations belong to cadastral class E / 1
E / 2: municipal and provincial toll bridges. All public bridges for which each driver is required to pay a fixed fee
E / 3: buildings and constructions for special public needs. Facilities such as kiosks and newsstands that sell newspapers fall into the category
E / 4: closed enclosures for special public needs. The enclosures that delimit an area where, for example, a public grocery market is held
E / 5: buildings constituting fortifications and their dependencies. These buildings are permanently exempt from the payment of the IMU.
E / 6: towers, traffic lights and lighthouses to make the municipal clock for public use. The same applies to the structures of the cadastral category E / 6, permanent exemption from the payment of the IMU
E / 7: buildings intended for the public exercise of worship. In cadastral class E / 7 there are religious buildings such as cathedrals and churches, inside which masses and other religious functions are celebrated
E / 8: buildings and buildings in cemeteries, excluding sepulchres, columbarias and family tombs. Structures for which the exemption from the single municipal tax applies
E / 9: special purpose buildings not included in the previous categories of group E.
F / 1: urban areas. All areas located on the ground floor of buildings stacked in the urban area fall into the cadastral category F / 1
F / 2: collaborating units. Unusable structures, for which accessibility is not granted
F / 3: unit under construction. Properties that have not been finished.
F / 4: unit being defined. Compared to the buildings of the cadastral class F / 3 the difference is subtle but important. This category includes properties for which neither the intended use nor the size has been established
F / 5: flat roofs. Flat roofs are, for example, terraces or free areas located above buildings and are part of the common parts of an apartment building
F / 6: building awaiting declaration. Any building for which the registration request has not yet been submitted
F / 7: infrastructures of public communications networks. The cadastral category F / 7 identifies all those structures built by telecommunication companies for public networks (see broadband)
Our services related to property evaluation in Italy
Where can a discerning prospective foreign buyer find the straightforward facts about property evaluation? Whom should he/she refer to for advice on which area to focus on, what kind of property to look for? What prices to consider? And, above all, how can a foreign investor be sure a real estate investment is worthwhile?
Contact us, our real estate crew comprises specialized real estate developers, agents and lawyers expert in property law, as well as architects, engineers, and surveyors! Highly-skilled, fluent in English and dedicated to our clients’ success, we offer the special insight and indispensable assistance only long-practiced expertise, trained qualifications and deep-rooted knowledge can provide. Proficient in all that concerns property sourcing, cost negotiation and purchase, including bureaucracy and locally applicable legislation, we provide our clients with far-reaching services including property evaluation, business plan drafting, fiscal consultancies and dexterous support for renovation, furnishing, and decorating.
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