The demand for cosy farmhouses rises in Italy
Italian and overseas buyers wish to move to comfortable homes in the countryside
The demand for cosy homes in the countryside is on the rise in Italy. The trend of leaving big cities to move to the countryside is getting a footing not only among Italian investors – who are ready to cover 40 km to go to their working place – but also among overseas property buyers who have retired and want to live in a peaceful location in the countryside.
The demand for farmhouses has increased by 13% in the latest six months. Once they were bought as second residences; at the moment, they are chosen as first homes, above all by foreign investors. Italy remains the second option for English and German buyers who prefer France – particularly the region of Provence, where prices are still very high. The sale of second homes is increasing in Italy: experts expect 33800 second homes will be sold in 2011 while 31500 second residences were sold in 2010.
Potential buyers are choosing a different type of rural properties for their investments. Farmhouses located in remote areas are not very longed for. Rural properties should be situated close to the sea or close to services: the proximity to means of communication is a very important factor for the sale of a rural property. The most demanded properties enjoy a favourable position on a hill and offer enchanting views of the surrounding valley.
The market of conveniently situated farmhouses – old stone buildings that have been converted into comfortable dwellings – represents 10% of the second homes market in Italy and this trend is gaining ground. This is a very peculiar market, where buyers are ready to wait for years before purchasing a property in order to find their ideal rural home. Very often, investors aim at buying a farmhouse in need of renovation to manage the restoration in person by using original local materials.
Tuscany – that was called the “barn of Etruria” in ancient times – has become a luxury destination. It is one of the most sought-after investment destinations in Italy, thanks to the beauty of its rolling countryside and its cultural and artistic wealth. The great demand has made prices rise considerably, even if the number of sales in the most important villages in the region of Chianti has decreased. This is the right moment to make a profitable investment in Tuscany, where average prices are comprised between 1500 and 2500 euros/sq. Of course, the value rises in the most prestigious areas – such as San Giminiano and Gaiole in Chianti. In Umbria, a farmhouse costs 1778 euros/sq.
Tuscany is followed by Piedmont (see the real estate offers displayed by Realigro Agencies in Cuneo and Turin), Lombardy and Marche. The best areas to make a cost-effective investment in Piedmont are: the region of Langhe, Monferrato and Roero. The demand is driven by artists or professionals who can work at home and here they find a cosy place to welcome their clients. Many buyers decide to buy a property here to make a change in their life and open little tourist accommodation facilities. In the most prestigious areas – such as Barolo and Monforte – the prices of renovated farmhouses range between 700 thousand and 800 thousand euros. Investors looking for a farmhouse in need of renovation in the Langhe may find 400-sq. properties for sale at a price of 200 thousand euros. The demand in this area may increase, since the sweet-scented vineyards of the region may be included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO by the end of the year – which will surely make the value of the properties increase.
Apulia is increasingly calling the attention of investors looking for advantageous investment opportunities. The region boasts a breath-taking coastal landscape and is known for its artistic, cultural and architectural heritage. Local and foreign investors are attracted by the colourful countryside with its dry-stone walls, the breath-taking cliffs, the beautiful white sandy beaches, the pleasant Mediterranean climate, the wealth of artistic and cultural treasures and the enthralling folk traditions. The architecture in the region of Salento is particularly interesting: the superb arches, the magnificent barrel vaults and the enchanting cross vaults that are present in the old buildings are a proof of builder’s skillfulness. Manor houses are the most demanded property type, here. The region offers appealing affordable real estate investment opportunities.