Q: Will property prices drop in the near future given the current situation? Are people putting their homes up for sale during this time?

Q: Will property prices drop in the near future given the current situation? Are people putting their homes up for sale during this time?


Q: Will property prices drop in the near future given the current situation? Are people putting their homes up for sale during this time?

A: Historically Italians have used property as a savings account, i.e. as a safe place to park their savings. The lira had all those 000s for a reason: inflation; it lost value over time. Successive governments would often print money rather than making difficult decisions (to be clear, this was well before the Euro, blaming the Euro is popular as it is easy to blame someone else, but the reality is Italy’s economic problems have been and are Made in Italy, not Paris nor Berlin). Thus home ownership is around 76% in Italy (source: Istat, 2018), compared to less than 50% in nearby Germany. Taxes are relatively low on homes; owners don’t often consider the total cost of ownership including maintenance and utilities; indeed maintenance, including things like energy efficiency improvements, is not a strong point despite available tax incentives. Another consideration is that overall Italians don’t carry much, if any, personal debt: they’re not pressed to sell.

Thus I do not expect any rush for people to sell beyond those who would have anyway and those who will be re-evaluating their needs and expectations after more than a month cooped up at home.

I would expect demand, both domestic and from foreign buyers, to increase for properties which have yards (gardens) and/or terraces. I would also expect for the same reason there will be an increase in demand for second homes on the part of Italians who currently have cash stored somewhere. There may well be an increase in demand for apartments in large cities where there are work and university opportunities: those who commuted in or are renting may prefer the security of owning their own place.

I wouldn’t expect a significant change in prices in the near term. Sellers are generally of the idea “rather than sell for a song, I’ll hold on to it“. This logic is very different than that found in places like the US where there can be a desire to “cut my losses” and sell at a loss to avoid ongoing local taxes etc.

Nor do I expect an up-tick in demand for certain properties to increase their prices; I would simply expect the time to sale to reduce.

If we enter an extended period of economic crisis, maybe a buyer’s market could emerge. This would surprise me as I think there are too many countries which have a common interest in a speedy recovery, but even Economists have difficulty in predicting the future… and I’m not an Economist.

Disclaimer: these are just the views of one professional who has lived in Italy for more than 25 years; before making a purchase of property in Italy, you should consult others too in order to obtain a range of views, views which may confirm or contradict mine!