Italy sees boost in overseas home buyers

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New data from the Italian Scenari Immobiliari research institute has revealed that second home sales to overseas buyers rose by 14% in 2012.

Investors from Russia, the UK, Germany and Scandinavia were particularly active when it came to the foreign nationalities purchasing second homes in the country throughout the period.

However, recent moves by the government to increase domestic purchases have been having a marked effect in some areas, with Liguria and Venice being hotspots for a new wave of Italians buying holiday homes in their own country.

International property advisors Knight Frank report that in the first three months of this year these two areas have seen property prices rise by 5%, with this increase set against a background of a countrywide decrease of 12.3% since the peak levels achieved in the second quarter of 2008.

The high end properties that are dotted along the narrow strip of Liguria’s coastline have risen 5% in value year on year to May 2013. In some part this is due to a lack of supply together with continuing demand, as new developments are scarce because of the steep local terrain and strict planning rules governing constructions in the area.

In Venice itself prices for premium properties fell last year but now seem to be recovering. City centre apartments are popular with a wide range of overseas buyers, with locations overlooking the Grand Canal, San Marco and Dorsoduro being amongst those most in demand.

Elsewhere in the country, the Italian lakes have long been popular with overseas buyers, but the traditional image of a waterside home on Lake Como is also something of a dream for Italians to aspire to, and so competition from wealthy domestic buyers means that prices in the area have held up.

Buying a property in Italy is a fairly straightforward procedure even for foreign buyers, so if you are thinking of investing there make sure you compare the currency exchange rates before deciding on how you will send money abroad.

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