Finding A Bargain Holiday Home In Italy

Date Added: January 07, 2013 10:56:32 AM
Author: Marta Calligaro
Category: Financial: Real Estate & Property

With Italy’s unwavering appeal that woos 40 million tourists a year; the country’s unmatched history and culture; and the relative strength of the US dollar and other currencies against the euro, there has hardly been a better time to invest in a property in Italy.  Indeed, a number of real estate analysts forecast that demand in the country’s housing market, especially from overseas buyers, to remain strong over the forthcoming 12 months.  The Italian real estate website Homes and Villas Abroad reported enquiries for the final quarter of 2012 nearly 33 per cent higher than the year previously. Meanwhile, 2012 also saw Sotheby’s enlarge its global property portfolio with a new Milan office.

So, where best to buy? With the current financial background a large proportion of buyers are naturally looking for value for money. However, hotspots like Lucca, Florence and Rome are so in-demand that it may prove fruitless trying to pick up cut-price deals here.   Therefore, if you are hoping to buy on a budget, southern Italy, in particular Calabria, should feature high on your list. And more specifically in Calabria, Scalea.  Scalea is not exactly the most popular coastal mecca in Calabria, the south Italian area on the instep of Italy’s stiletto-shaped mainland. Being honest it wouldn’t be ranked as the most bewitching, not with Briatico and San Lucido as rivals. Nonetheless, for house buyers seeking a low-priced deal, the unprepossessing location of Scalea is our principal tip for this year.  Scalea has all the advantages of more renowned Tyrrhenian Sea coastal resorts – a stunning sandy beach, crystal blue waters and weather averaging a balmy 49.5F in winter and that reaches in the region of a mean of 79F in August. Even late Autumn sees typical temperatures approaching 72F.

When it comes to affordable properties – in many ways the best deals available anywhere in the Italian property sector at present – where it really makes a name for itself.  Real estate prices hover a little under Euro 90 per sq ft. In other words it means a 25sq m studio apartment around 400m from the seafront can start from just Euro 20,000. A 30sq m single-bedroom sea-view property can be purchased for a mere Euro 29,000 or Euro 30,000. Not the largest, but comfortable enough for up to two vacationers – or three or four if they are ready to use the lounge as a makeshift bedroom at night-time. Add in the fact that usually both coast and town centre shopping will be around a 5-minute trip on foot and that is obviously unbeatable value.

An option somewhat bigger but still considerably within reach pricewise, a 50sq m double-bedroom property can start at about Euro 48,000 . One may also get one or more of a view of the sea, terrace and garden included with that if you shop around.  In general, the typical cost of living in the south of Italy – everything from real estate prices down to the cost of a cup of coffee – tends to be much cheaper in contrast to regions such as Rome, which attract far more non-Italian tourists and are pricier as a result.  The pace of daily life in this neck of the woods is inclined to be far more unflustered. This is, you quickly come to appreciate, traditional Italy. A feature that is slowly changing, with overseas visitors increasingly heading to places like Scalea in search of better value. Italians have always come on holiday here of course – all of which means rental opportunity for your investment is strong.

There is much more to Scalea than affordable homes to purchase The town has nearly 11,000 inhabitants and has that population swollen several times over during July-September as Italians and growing hordes of Britons and Americans head for the town. As well as the amazing vista, the Tyrrhenian being overlooked by mountains, the area can point to a varied heritage. It found prominence as a Byzantine sea-faring port, attracting traders from across the ancient world. A Byzantine fort and ancient wall dominate the medieval centre, perched on the hills looking down on the sea and the marina, in turn packed with modern hotels and large villas. Reaching here is simple too. The closest airport is Lamezia Terme, a little over 1hr 40 mins to the south, while Napoli airport is 2hr 20 mins by road in the opposite direction. Both are also reachable by train as Scalea has a mainline station.

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