Il Chianti resta “terra inglese”

In allegato l’articolo del Sole 24 ore del 21 Aprile 2016.

Il Chianti resta terra inglese

Italy To Showcase More Than 1,000 State-owned Properties At MIPIM

A high-level delegation of Italian government ministers, real estate and trade officials is flying the “Invest in Italy” banner at the annual MIPIM world real estate fair, which got underway Wednesday in Cannes.

This year, Italy is showcasing more than a thousand state-owned properties, including historic villas and palaces and a range of development opportunities in both the residential and commercial real estate sectors.

Over the past 24 months, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pushed through a raft of economic reforms designed to cut red tape, create a more flexible labour market and lower a variety of taxes. The aim, as the Prime Minister said recently, is to show that “Italy is back” as an investor-friendly country with an economy that is growing again after years of recession.

In 2015 Italy’s privatization efforts saw the sale of €752m worth of state-owned properties, ranking Italy’s real estate disposals just behind the UK (€842m) and ahead of Germany (€699m) and France (€572m).

The Rome-based Invest in Italy office of the Ministry of Economic Development, in cooperation with the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), has also been re-energized by the prime minister’s efforts and is now offering one-stop shopping for foreign investors.

Among its recent achievements, the newly streamlined FDI office managed to clear the way for a €1.4bn investment by Australia’s Westfield group that will lead to the construction near Milan’s Linate airport of what will become in 2020 the largest shopping complex in Europe, a sprawling 235,000 square-meter development that will feature 300 shops and 50 restaurants. The project will create 27,000 new jobs. The same team is now clearing away obstacles that could see more than €6bn of new investments in 20 other major Italian real estate projects.

Among those attending MIPIM are Italy’s Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti and Ivan Scalfarotto, the newly named Vice Minister at the Ministry of Economic Development. At a special “Italy Day” conference held Wednesday and chaired by Riccardo Monti, President of ITA, the first 200 property assets went online on the new portal:

“Our presence here today,” said Scalfarotto, “is proof of our ability to bring together key players in the public and private sectors.” The Vice Minister said that total real estate transactions in Italy increased by 52.8% in 2015, to more than €8bn, of which three quarters came from foreign investment.

“The Government intends to build on this positive trend by accelerating its reforms and its policies aimed at making foreign direct investment in real estate simpler, more transparent and more secure,” Scalfarotto added. The new web platform, he said, would contribute to making state-owned properties available to investors.

SOURCE Italian Trade Agency

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British demand for Italian second homes rises by a third

The three top regions for British second home buyers are Tuscany, Puglia and Abruzzo – and their demand for Italian property has grown by a third in the last year, says a top website.

Britons are the leading buyers of Italian property through online provider,, followed by the Americans, Germans, French and Belgians.

In fact, demand from UK property seekers rose by almost one-third (32%), according to the Gate-Away 2015 Annual Report.

The average value of property sought is around €300,000, with buyers favouring detached houses over apartments.

Most buyers (70%) are looking for Italian properties worth up to €250,000, with 39% wanting homes up to €100,000. Around one in 10 (11%) of buyers want luxury homes. General manager, Simone Rossi, says, “The preference for properties in the medium to low bracket reveals a characteristic tendency of the English not to consider renovation as an obstacle, but to view it as an opportunity to give a personal touch to the property.

“Requests received through our portal for properties partially renovated or to be restructured come to more than 30% in total. Another aspect that characterises the British buyers, says Simone Rossi, is dealing with modernisation and restoration projects, relying on local craftsmen and using materials appropriate to the original style of the chosen property.”

Use of restoration materials, attention paid to practitioners of local building traditions and the choice of furnishings in line with local traditions are often found in English potential buyers corresponding with a typical outline: these are often people with moderate to high cultural knowledge, almost always frequent travellers, demonstrating a love of the Italian lifestyle, not only the fashion, luxury or food – the more obvious things – but also the nature of the country, with its history, roots and traditions.

“A customer’s age, education and tendency to travel – added the general manager of – ensure that, when searching for a property, there is a willingness to, as much as possible, respect the characteristics, at times giving new life to the structure in an excellent way, then adding the personal touch common to foreign buyers, especially the British.”

Tuscany remains in first place in the rankings, while the increase in interest for Puglia brings it to second place, even though up until a few years ago it was unheard of and it’s a similar case for Abruzzo, which is a close third. Liguria is fourth and Piedmont fifth place.

Looking at the favourite cities targeted by British buyers, Ostuni, Carovigno and San Vito dei Normanni in the province of Brindisi, are in demand. In addition, the Tuscan town of Fivizzano in Lunigiana and Syracuse in Sicily. has more than 18,000 properties currently for sale by more than 360 Italian real estate agencies and more than 1,700 private owners.

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Tuscany rated second among mid-sized european region for investment-attraction strategies

Tuscany has been ranked second among Mid-sized European Regions of the future 2016/17 – FDI Strategy” according to ‘European Cities and Regions of the Future Rankings’ prepared independently every two years by ‘FDI Magazine – Financial Times,’ which compares data and information on 481 locations for European cities and regions.

Second, after Greater Copenhagen, between regions with 1.5 and 4 million inhabitants where also Greater Stockholm Region, Northern Ireland, Wallonia, Basque County and the Brabant were on the Top 10 list.

Parameters used in the evaluations include: economic potential; labour environment, cost-benefit ratio (cost effectiveness), infrastructure, favourable business environment (business-friendliness) and FDI promotion strategies. The evaluations were performed by an independent panel of leading industry experts.

The judges were particularly impressed by the region’s digital offering, which includes a new website, and updated Guides on Doing Business in Tuscany and costs of setting up in our region.

The awards ceremony will be held on March 15 in Cannes, France, during the exhibition ‘MIPIM’ dedicated to real estate investments, where ‘Invest in Tuscany’ will be present.

‘Invest in Tuscany’ who is behind the development of FDI strategy, is a network coordinated by the Tuscan Region whose objective is to encourage, support and develop the entry of foreign capital into the Region. Working in partnership with Municipalities, Provinces, Chambers of Commerce, universities, research centres and national institutions such as Invitalia and ICE, ‘Invest in Tuscany’ is a point of contact for companies and corporations interested in investing in Tuscany.

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Abu Dhabi, Qatar funds invest in Milan properties

Government investment funds in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, as well as in Azerbaijan, have invested a combined $380 million in three different properties in Milan.
Wall Street Journal reported that Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has agreed to buy a 1960s building in the north Italian city, which the newspaper said will be demolished and replaced by a new tower.
Late last month, Qatar Investment Authority completed a deal to acquire the historical building that housed BNL’s (a subsidiary of BNP Paribas) headquarters in Piazza San Fedele in Milan.
The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan is buying a building from the Italian chamber of commerce, bring the total investment – including costs of redeveloping the sites – to $380 million (€350 million).
The investment comes at a time when sovereign wealth funds are investing heavily in Italian property, as its economy emerges from a three-year recession. Data-firm Real Capital Analytics said investment in Italian real estate last year was around $9.7 billion, up from $7.2 billion in 2014. In Milan, 90 percent of investment into city came from foreign investors, according to Knight Frank.

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SOFAZ expanding, buys property in Italy

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6

By Aygun Badalova – Trend:

Government investment funds in Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi and Qatar in the past two weeks have agreed to invest a combined 350 million euros ($380 million) to buy and develop three separate properties in Milan, the Wall Street Journal reported citing a person familiar with the transactions.

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is buying a building from the Italian chamber of commerce, while the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is buying a 1960s building that will be demolished to make way for a new tower, according to the person.

On Dec. 22, the Qatar Investment Authority agreed to buy a property from BNP Paribas SA. The purchase prices weren’t disclosed.

The 350 million euros includes the cost of redeveloping the three sites. All three will be managed by Italian property company Coima SGR, the person said.

SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million.

Based on SOFAZ’s regulations, its funds may be used for the construction and reconstruction of strategically important infrastructure facilities, as well as solving important national problems.

The main goals of the State Oil Fund include: accumulation of resources and the placement of the fund’s assets abroad in order to minimize the negative affect on the economy, the prevention of “Dutch disease” to some extent, promotion of resource accumulation for future generations and support of current social and economic processes in Azerbaijan.

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Milan Enjoying a Surge in Cross-border Property Investment in 2015

According to Knight Frank, Milan’s office investment volumes have surged during 2015, as improvements in the Italian economy have helped to attract a wave of cross-border activity.

After being one of a handful of European countries to be in recession in 2014, Italy has returned to positive economic growth in 2015 and its GDP is forecast to increase by c. 0.9% annually. The strengthening of the economy has encouraged a revival in investment market activity, and Milan office investment reached €1.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2015, comfortably exceeding the full-year total for 2014. Cross-border investors led transaction activity, taking a 90% investment share during this period.

As a result, Milan office investment is on course to reach approximately €2 billion by the year-end – a post-crisis record. International investors are expected to remain active in the coming months, but volumes are also likely to be boosted by increased domestic demand. The strength of demand has led to significant yield compression; prime office yields hardened to 4.5% in Q3 and could fall further over the coming quarters on the back of improved investor confidence.

The Milan occupier market has also shown positive trends, with office take-up during Q1-Q3 2015 totalling c. 190,000 sq m. Annual take-up for 2015 is expected to reach as high as 240,000 sq m, in line with the 10-year average.

Alessandro Riboni, Chief Executive, Knight Frank Milan, commented: “There is an ongoing interest of institutional foreign investors in the Italian market. We expect an increase in deals and in the values of the real estate market.”

Heena Kerai, International Research Analyst at Knight Frank, commented: “Cross-border demand for Milan offices was the major driver of investment activity in the first three quarters of 2015. US buyers took the largest share of activity, accounting for 46% of transaction volumes, followed by European investors. While Italian investors have largely focused their demand on office assets in other Italian cities, we could begin to see them moving back to Milan, as market sentiment continues to improve.”

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Why British buyers beat US investment in Italian property

British interest in Italian property has almost risen by half in the last year, overtaking United States demand, new data reveals.

UK buyers have now taken a 2.2% lead over US investors, with demand rising 47% from January-October 2015 compared with the same time the previous year, according to the autumn figures from Italian property specialist US interest has also increased year-on-year by a sizeable 27%.

British buyers accounted for 16.2% of all property requests, with Americans in second on 14%, Germans in third with 9.54%, French buyers fourth with 8.2% and Belgium buyers fifth on 5.86%.

Tuscany is the most popular region with 16.8% of all inquiries, followed by Puglia on 11.64%, Abruzzo on 11.47%, Liguria on 8.46% and Piedmont on 7.68%.

The average value of property searched is €302,000, although 38.84% of searches are for homes under €100,000, 31.6% from €100,000-€250,000, 18.65% from €250,000-€500,000, 6.21% from €500,000 to €1million and 4.7% above that.

Nearly four out of five searches (78.83%) are for houses and the rest for apartments, with almost two out of 10 (18.4%) wanting properties for restoration one in 10 (9.9%) looking for new homes. Most buyers (35%) wanted two-bed properties, with 24. 4% aiming for three-bed homes. General Manager, Simone Rossi, tells OPP.Today why British demand for Italian property has overtaken US interest. “Despite the euro’s value has decreased both against the GBP and the USD, factors as the short geographic distance, low cost flight connections, information and market players more “at hand” made British buyers respond more quickly than the Americans.

“The favourable currency difference is just the trigging factor that made this figures jump up even further lately, as the positive trends of British demand for Italian property has been steadily increasing for some time now. More proactive activities from Italian players like estate agents but also main Italian property promoters like has increased the awareness from overseas buyers in general but particularly towards British buyers. Furthermore, British buyers are more ready to invest in Italy than Americans.”

He believes the trend is likely to continue for some time. “The Italian property market is not purely for an investment purchase but is more an emotional purchase. Brits who buy in Italy are more in love with the lifestyle, the culture and everything this country has to offer, so if we (we Italians) communicate well our market and its potential this trend will remain positive for many years to come.”

The top three areas each have particular appeal. Lois Allan – Owner of the agency L’Architrave Immobiliare, says house prices in Tuscany have remained relatively stable despite the economic downturn due to the continued interest from international investors.

“Planning regulations in Tuscany are strict and there are a limited number of character farmhouses or rustic properties available for restoration. Many stone barns cannot be converted as consent for a change of use is unlikely to be granted except for in few and specific locations.

“Rental returns on properties are high due to the ‘holiday appeal’ of Tuscany. There is no capital gains tax on properties sold after 5 years of ownership.

“Tuscany is the cradle of Western civilization and the natural beauty combined with history, architecture, culture and accessibility with international airports in both Florence and Pisa maintains the area as a prestigious location in the world.”

Matteo Mariano – Owner of the agency Mariano Immobili, says Puglia is a more and more exciting and charming region. “It’s a unique land, a place offering multiple cultures, landscapes and architectures, from the wonderful ‘trullo’ to baroque palaces. In this territory, anyone can find a property that best suits its taste and budgets, never forgetting its extraordinary typicality.”

Mila Caserio – Owner of the agency Immobiliare Caserio, says many foreign buyers are particularly attracted by Abruzzo due to its strategic location and especially for its property prices, which are much lower compared to other Italian regions.

“Abruzzo small towns on the hillside and ancient villages suffering from depopulation are the most affected by this phenomenon.

Hhaving a second or third home in the village of origin is becoming increasingly expensive for Italians. In some cases, these properties have been empty for decades and are in a state of deterioration. Foreigners love these villages, their landscapes, the style of their stone houses and the slow pace of life that these places offer, says Mila Caserio.

“I think the goal should be precisely having foreign customers fall in love even more with the Abruzzo region, in order for them to contribute as well to preserve inland villages (like ghost towns). Thus, they could be reborn as in the past, reviving the gastronomic and popular traditions that are disappearing more and more. Young Italians do not cultivate anymore these passions that our grandparents had and still have today.

“However, also the Abruzzo region should encourage foreign customers, for instance with higher incentives, promoting a better knowledge of the area through guided tours.”

Apart from British buyers demand is growing from other overseas property investors, says Lois Allan. “Tuscany has appealed to the British market for many years. The availability of budget flights from more and more countries (Pisa airport in building a second runway) has added to the appeal from other European countries including Scandinavia, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland. The strength of the dollar has meant an increase of the number of Americans wishing to own a piece of Italian heritage.”

Matteo Mariano says Puglia has undergone a significant increase in recent years thanks to foreign investors who have decided to choose this location as a place to stay. “The main factors determining this choice are certainly related to the beauty of the area and a far lower real estate budget compared to other Italian and foreign locations.”

Mila Caserio says in Abruzzo there is a real estate sector not affected by the crisis, in fact, it has never been as prosperous as now. This is international property market.

“Abruzzo is experiencing once again a glorious time among foreigners who want to invest in a house in Italy. About fifteen years ago, the phenomenon of small foreign investors began spreading. They were mainly from the UK and fewer from Scandinavian countries, interested in purchasing rural properties in Abruzzo. Among them, there was Daniele Kihlgreno, the Swedish businessman who bought and then renovated the famous village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, today an important tourism destination in Abruzzo. However, after several prosperous years, the influx of investors dropped due to the Italian and international political and economic situation.

“In recent years, the market has regained its former glory, perhaps even higher than before. The very favourable currency exchange between British pound, dollar and euro has increased the interest by international investors in buying a property in Italy.”

Given the international appeal, Italy has fewer agents serving international buyers than other European countries, says Simone Rossi.

“There are not as many as in other countries as Spain or France but we are seeing this growing very fast as many agents from other regions than Tuscany understand that their area can attract a lot of interest from international buyers and are considering this market as good source of income. The more Italian agents serve international buyers and the more other agents will be interested in jumping into this market, serving also the international buyers a wider and a better offer.” is based in Italy and features more than 18,000 listed properties for sale by more than 360 Italian real estate agencies.

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Americans Buy European Homes as Dollar Rises

Phillips, Braden, International New York Times

The dollar’s climb against the euro, combined with listless prices in some European markets, has led to a sharp rise in Americans seeking a second home on the Continent.

With the exchange rate against the euro persistently not in his favor and his retirement still 20 years away, Dr. Kenneth Bermudez had decided to delay his dream of owning a villa in Tuscany, Italy.

“I originally thought I was going to look much later, but now with the strong dollar and drop in property prices, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” he said.

Dr. Bermudez, a plastic surgeon based in San Francisco, spent three weeks house hunting in Tuscany, visiting 30 properties before choosing a villa in the Chianti region near the town of Gaiole, 45 minutes from Florence. The purchase is in escrow and expected to clear by January.

“Between the strong dollar and the price — about 20 percent lower than the original listed price — I think I saved about 35 to 40 percent,” he said, adding that he had spent “less than $1 million” for a home of 8,000 square feet on nine acres.

The dollar’s climb in value against the euro — it remains near the recent peak reached in March — and languishing prices in some European markets have emboldened many Americans to consider buying a second home in Europe after more than a decade of near inactivity.

“If we compared data through the end of the third quarter of 2015 with the same period the prior year, the growth of U.S. home buyer interest in Europe is up 180 percent,” said Erin Koops, executive vice president for member services at Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a company based in Chicago that represents 500 broker firms in 50 countries.

Ms. Koops said the measure was based on requests by Americans at broker companies in the United States for introductions to Europe agents.

The countries that received the most inquiries were those that traditionally appealed to Americans: France, Italy, Spain and, in a virtual tie for fourth, England and Germany, Ms. Koops said.

The market conditions in each of those markets vary, but the common denominator is the stronger dollar.

According to Daragh Maher, a currency strategist at HSBC in New York, the rise in the dollar began last year when the Federal Reserve stopped injecting money into the American economy, a policy known as quantitative easing, and the European Central Bank did the opposite, pumping in money, which weakened the euro.

“The consensus expectation is that the dollar will be at $1.06 to the euro at the end of 2016” — it is now at $1.07 — “but will remain broadly stable until then,” Mr. Maher said. “If you believe that outlook, the exchange rate is less of a factor to consider.”

Most buyers consulted had not postponed decisions to buy in the hopes of getting an even better rate. In fact, the current environment is actually more favorable to American buyers, Mr. Maher said.

“What’s changed is that the market is not as pessimistic about the euro now, but that has created a helpful combination,” he said. “Affordability has improved, but stability in the euro means you’re not so worried about where you’ll be in 12 months’ time with a euro asset.”

When it comes to the gold-plated addresses of Paris and London, however, affordability is a relative term. In the French capital, the average price for a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in St.- Germain-des-Pres is more than $4,600 a square foot. In Mayfair in London, the same size apartment can be more than $7,500 a square foot.

By contrast, the average price a square foot in the Mitte neighborhood of Berlin, the city’s most popular property destination for international buyers, is roughly $1,600 a square foot; in the Eixample district in Barcelona, Spain, it is just under $1,300.

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Americans Buy European Homes as Dollar Rises

Tis A Good Time To Invest in Italy’s Commercial Property Market

Italy’s commercial real estate market is turning into an important investment prospect. Those who are interested must act in the soonest possible time as the chances of returns are most likely to be gone by the end of 2015.

According to CNBC, Portfolio Manager Joel Wells at Alpine Funds has explained why it is time to invest in Italy’s property market. Alpine Funds is a New York based asset management company.

Wells said that the market conditions in the country are reflecting those evident in other European countries such as Spain and Ireland following the global financial crisis, in which rental rates and returns on assets take a dip and credit dried up.

On more enthusiastic note, the Italian property market reportedly still remains as a stimulating market for investors to put their money in. According to Property Showrooms, Italy is a highly active tourist market therefore Italian properties are attractive prospects.

It was also said that wise investors are forecasting that if one buys from the Italian property market soon, that investor will have an advantage of a surge of investors who will be flocking in Italy for the same reason.

According to Property Showrooms, in terms of commercial activities, low-budget airlines have more access to many of Italy’s regional airports. It is believed that the once unpopular locations will eventually increase in value as more people have access to them. Example of these new locations are those found in the islands of Sicily and Sardinia where property prices are more or less 25 percent lower than on the mainland. Other regions that are beginning to become lucrative are Puglia, Le Marche and Abruzzo, where an investor can still get deals around £20,000.

On a national level, rental prospects are also attractive since more and more tourists want to venture into rural locations. This is a good time for investors who want to turn old Italian houses into modern residences. And best of all, it has been said that Italy is a good prospect in terms of Intelligent Property Investment because there are no wealth or capital gains taxes to be paid, according to Property Showrooms.

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