On the face of it, the Italian property market may not look like a dream investment at the moment. Values are still down after the economic downturn, and the market has been relatively stagnant with few looking to buy.
However, this situation has some definite upsides for investors. The fall in prices during the financial crisis has left properties more affordable, and the relative dearth of buyers has made sellers more willing to negotiate. According to property investment experts Hopwood House, investors are "more likely to pick up a good deal than they would be at other times". Where properties are struggling to sell to domestic buyers, they may still have prospects for letting either as residential or tourist accommodation, meaning they could still prove useful for investors.
These bargain properties are not available throughout the country, however. Rather, they are to be found in particular regions. Often, these are places away from the main cities like Rome and Florence. Instead, they tend to be in areas that are essentially off the beaten track, but which are close enough to popular areas and major amenities to be attractive to residents and tourists. Such locations can potentially offer good-quality properties at prices significantly below the £50,000 mark, and if you don't mind having work to do on your purchase you may even find a deal for as little as £20,000.
Calabria has been highlighted as one place where property prices have fallen to bargain levels. Many also consider it one of the stronger examples of such a location. It is on a beautiful stretch of Southern Italian coastline, and offers spectacular scenery as a backdrop for a home or holiday. The Pollino National Park, as well as attractions such as the World Heritage Site of Cosenza Cathedral, serve to complete the area's attractions.
Calabria has long been known among Italians as a domestic holiday resort. However, it has remained an obscure destination among international holidaymakers, and this is perhaps why it continues to offer bargain properties when more globally-popular destinations do not. However, it has become more popular with the international tourist crowd in recent years. It continues to attract greater numbers of visitors from overseas with each tourist season, and on the strength of this, airlines have been running increased numbers of flights to the region from various places around the world.
This, in turn, has improved the region's accessibility and further boosted its global profile as a holiday destination. This has led many investors to regard Calabria properties not just as a bargain but something of a hidden gem, with strong growth prospects if its popularity continues to rise at the current rate.
Of course, Calabria is not the only source of property bargains in Italy. Other up-and-coming or off-the-beaten-track locations can also offer great deals. If you are determined to invest in popular areas, meanwhile, it may be worth looking to the outskirts. For instance, some surprisingly good deals can pop up from time to time in the far north of Tuscany.
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