In the last 8 years the property market worldwide has changed during the biggest financial crisis in modern history, yet Italy regardless of its economic problems has maintained a stable property market. A recent report by PwC and the Urban Land Institute suggests that Italy can offer some of the best property opportunities in Europe and in 2014 the first signs of a recovery since the economic crash were seen. The property market in Abruzzo is a little different to many other areas of Italy in that it is relatively young, Abruzzo only really became known to foreigners in the last 10 years and at this time properties were sold at incredibly low prices and Abruzzo enjoyed a mini boom all of its own. When the financial markets collapsed, luckily for Abruzzo, the property market had not had the major boom which inevitably results in the bust. This meant that during the crisis people looked to Abruzzo as an alternative to other regions such as Umbria and Le Marche, where the property market had seen a boom just before the crisis and suffered during the down times. Abruzzo was, and still is, advertised as one of the cheapest areas to buy in the whole of Italy, with properties a staggering 40-70% cheaper than areas such as Tuscany, Umbria and Le Marche and once people began to learn more about this beautiful area the steady flow of foreign buyers began. The hardest part of our work in the beginning was introducing this new area to people, in the first 3 years of exhibiting in 2 famous property exhibitions in the UK we were spending most of our time explaining where Abruzzo was rather than selling the features of the properties we had. I found it hard to believe that a region so close to Rome could be so overlooked to the point that people had no idea that it even existed. However, once people began to visit the area, saw the beauty and felt the sense of real Italy it wasn’t long before Abruzzo became the new Italian property hot spot.
Properties in Abruzzo have many advantages over its neighbouring regions because of the unique countryside, from the high mountain ranges where modern ski resorts can be found down into the valleys and rolling countryside on towards the beautiful beaches along the Adriatic coastline. It is possible from many parts of Abruzzo to go from skiing to sunbathing on the beach in less than 1 hour by car.
Abruzzo has now firmly stamped its mark on the Italian property market and has quickly become one of the most popular areas for foreign tourists to buy, which inevitably means that house prices, particularly in the countryside, are steadily rising and because Italian planning does not allow for thousands of villas to take over the countryside in a huge expanse of ‘expat estates’, the unique properties which are for sale, once sold, are gone forever.
Many people ask me if now is a good time to buy in Abruzzo, my answer is, for more than one reason, I wish I had bought here years ago!