The Cheapest Real Estate In Italy

Date Added: Jan 5, 2013

Given Italy’s timeless attraction that woos around 43 million tourists a year; its famous cultural heritage; and the relative strength of the dollar and other top worldcurrencies against the euro, there has scarcely been a more ideal time to invest in a home in Italy.

Indeed, many real estate and investment commentators predict that demand for properties in Italy, especially from overseas buyers, to remain strong over the next year.

The property in Italy website Homes and Villas Abroad reported enquiries for the final quarter of last year nearly 33 per cent up on the year previously.

Meanwhile, 2012 also saw Sotheby’s enlarge its worldwide property network as it added a new office in Milan.

The next question is, where to buy? Given the present economic background the majority of buyers are naturally hoping for value for money. Locations such as Florence and Rome are so in-demand that it may prove fruitless attempting to pick up cut-price deals here.

If you are hoping to buy on a budget, southern Italy, specifically Calabria, ought to feature high on your list. And more specifically in Calabria, Scalea.

This is not the most popular beach location in Calabria, the south Italian region on the instep of the country’s boot-shaped landmass. In truth it isn’t the most attractive, not with Diamante and Paola to contend with. But for house investors looking for an attractively-priced deal, the unprepossessing resort of Scalea is our hot tip for this year.
The location has all the plus points of better-known Tyrrhenian and Ionian Sea sea resorts – a irresistible sandy beach, crystal azure waters and a temperature averaging a typically Mediterranean 50.5F in winter and that comes close to approximately an average of 79F in July-August. Then again the month of October has typical temperatures of nearly 73F on the thermometer.

But it is when it comes to reasonably priced properties – it could be argued the most profitable deals to be found in Italy’s housing sector at this moment in time – where it takes prominence.

 Property values are a little less than Euro 1,000 per square metre. In other words that means a 25sq m studio flat a mere 400m away from the Tyrrhenian coast can start at a measly Euro 20,000. A 30sq m one-bedroom sea-view apartment can go for a mere Euro29,000 or Euro 30,000. Not overly large, but enough for a couple of vacationers – or three or four who are prepared to use the lounge to bed down in at night. Factor in the fact that usually both sea and town centre shopping are within a 10-minute stroll and that is unmatchable value.

For an option a bit roomier but still significantly cheap, a 50sq m two-bedroom holiday flat can start at around Euro49,000 . One might also get one or more of a sea view, balcony and garden within that if you are lucky.

Historically, the average cost of living away from northern Italy – everything from housing market costs down to how much you are charged for a cup of coffee – tends to be much cheaper compared to areas like Tuscany and Umbria, which draw many more foreign tourists and are pricier as a result.

The speed of everything in this swathe of Italy is inclined to be much more tranquil. This is, you before long come to learn, traditional Italy. Something that is with time changing, with overseas purchasers increasingly looking at hotspots like Scalea in search of better value. Italians have long come on holiday here of course – meaning that letting return for your investment remains high.

Don’t forget there is far more to Scalea than affordable houses to purchase Scalea boasts almost 11,000 residents and has that population magnified in peak season as Italians and growing swathes of UK and US visitors flock to the resort.

On top of the great landscapes, its azure waters being overlooked by mountains, this area has a long history. Scalea came to prominence as an ancient Byzantine port, attracting merchants from across the ancient world. A Byzantine fort and centuries-old wall dominate the old centre, which sits atop the hillside looking down on the coast and the marina, which is vibrant with modern hotels and imposing villas.

Reaching here is simple as well. The nearest international airport is Lamezia Terme, a little over 120km further south, while Naples Airport is 140 miles drive in the opposite direction. Both are also accessible by rail as Scalea has a mainline rail station.