Italy: The number of real estate investment opportunities available for local and international buyers is increasing in the areas served by low-cost airlines. The impact of air traffic on the development of the real estate market is evident above all in tourist resorts, where it can give a significant contribution to economic growth.
According to the data released by Nomisma, Trapani, Cuneo, Parma, Perugia and Cagliari airports have registered the highest increase in terms of international arrivals among Italian regional airports. Foggia, Cuneo, Parma, Bergamo and Treviso have been chosen by an increasing number of national passengers.
The number of real estate transactions has decreased in 2009 in all of these towns, due to the economic crisis; prices, instead, have soared by 18% between 2005 and 2009, exceeding the national average – in Trapani there was a 27%-price rise; in Pisa prices rose by 26% and in Pescara the increase reached 21%.
Real estate agents working in Sardinia talk about a real “low-cost effect”, as the new routes have boosted investors’ desire to own a second home in Cagliari – that has registered an increase of 5.5% in arrivals in 2009 – Olbia and Alghero.
Many potential second-home buyers come from Lombardy, Veneto and Tuscany. Reasearches about properties for sale have risen by 115% in Sicily and by 31% in Sardinia. Tuscany is always British investors’ favourite investment destination.
Holiday rental contracts are on the rise in Trapani and since the town is beautiful and overlooks the sea, many investors opt for the purchase of a home to make a buy-to-let investment; indeed, they lease out their property when they do not use it. This happens on the islands, too: for example, in Favignana or in San Vito Lo Capo.
Despite the recent rise, real estate prices in Trapani have remained low in comparison to some other Italian seaside resorts. The average price in the town amounts to 1450 euros per square metre, approximately. The town attracts mainly local buyers or investors coming from northern Italy. There are only a few foreign investors.
On the occasion of the 2005 Americas Cup, the historical centre was redesigned and old houses were renovated. Those who bought a 100-sqm home for 20-30 thousand euros in 2005 made a real bargain.
The impact of air traffic on the development of real estate market has been strong in Abruzzo, too; low-cost flights to Pescara have made some hidden areas of Italy accessible. Many English investors arrived two years ago in search of a holiday residence.
The area surrounding Cuneo, instead, has not taken advantage of the increase of arrivals, because there is not a demand for short-term rents and a buy-to-let investment could not grant any return. This is due to the lack of roads and connections.
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