Interest from UK property buyers on Gate-Away.com has overtaken US demand, where one-third of searchers have an Italian surname, on the Gate-Away.com website for the first time since it was launched in 2007
For the first time, British buyers have overtaken United States investors looking to buy property in Italy, says a leading specialist website.
Britons top the list of inquiries for Italian properties on Gate-Away.com during the first half of the year with 14.5%, followed by the United States with 13.3%, France, 10.6%, Germany, 8.5%, and Belgium, 6.6%.
Walter Di Martino, Head of Communications at Gateaway.com tells OPP Connect, “Brits have always been attracted to Italian lifestyle and its natural and artistic beauty. In recent decades other countries suffered an indiscriminate construction activity that ruined their landscapes. This has never happened to Italy which has preserved its heritage.
“USA has always been at the top of the list, since 2007, when Gate-Away.com was born – and there are two other reasons that make the overtaking even more significant: First of all, the Americans are numerically greater than Brits. Secondly, about 35% of enquiries from USA come from potential buyers bearing an Italian surname, so they’re interested in investing in their country of origin. This is not the case of Brits.”
Leading players in the property market are coming together to help create strategies to attract British buyers. For instance, Gate-Away.com, in collaboration with the Italian Chamber of Commerce & Industry for the UK, is the official sponsor of the Italian Pavilion at A Place in The Sun Live consumer property show.
British interest in Italy as a permanent destination has risen 11 year-on-year in the first six month of 2014, and the 2013 level was 31% up on 2012.
UK citizens who are thinking about Italy are doing so mainly to improve their quality of life and take advantage of better weather, rather than escaping Britain. Other popular reasons are concerned with educational and professional advancement, a lower cost-of-living (particularly in suburban and rural locations), and romance, says Mr Di Martino.
Most look to live in small-towns rather than cities and want “elbow-room”, with 83% of inquiries coming in for single-family homes versus just16.7% for apartments
Britons are more likely than anyone to take on a renovation project, with a quarter saying that they are willing to refurbish a property, compared to only 16.5% of French, and 15.5% of Americans.
The average price that British home seekers are looking at is (€280,000) is significantly lower than the world average (€480,000), as they often forecast additional costs of renovations works.
Puglia is the most popular region of Italy under consideration at (17.8%), followed by Tuscany at 16.3%, Abruzzo, 11.9%, Liguria, 11.4%, and Lombardy, 5.7%.
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