The Italian property market has stabilised but growth will have to wait until the end of 2010 at the earliest, according to the chief executive of one of Italy’s leading real estate agents and valuers Beni Stabili.
Aldo Mazzocco said that he expects the real estate market to remain tough in the coming months with the main buyers being families and private property investors. But he believes that international buyers will return next year and overall the market is in a better state than many others in Europe.
One reason for this that Italy has never gorges on mortgage debt like the UK and US and hasn’t had the bust and boom cycles of other countries and no over development like Spain.
‘We are playing in defence but we’re glad to do that since most of our European competitors are playing behind the goal line,’ Mazzocco said. ‘We are stable but we won’t see the first signs of growth before the end of 2010 perhaps early 2011,’ he added.
Indeed, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Italy was one of the few countries where prices had not experienced the bust and boom of other nations in Europe. It points out that Italians tend not to buy and sell property in the frenetic style of the British, moving, on average, just once every 20 years. But it says the official figures for house building are unreliable, as there is so much illegal building.
In the mainstream market for Italian owner-occupiers, prices are typically down 10%. Cities have seen prices fall the most while properties at the top end of the market tend to have held up well.
Prices in popular locations such as Venice and Tuscany have also held well. It seems that the next few years will be a challenge for not only for Italian property investors but also those across Europe.