Rents in Italy soar as wages stagnate

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The average rent in Italy is €780 a month. Photo: Flickr
11:17 CET+01:00
Italians are spending the bulk of their monthly salary on rent as prices climb and landlords refuse to negotiate even in times of job loss, a survey has revealed.

Over 40 percent of those surveyed by, the Italian property website, said between 35 and 50 percent of their salary goes on rent, while 30 percent said they spend even more.

Rents in Italy have risen by 105 percent over the last twenty years, while average household salaries have gone up by just 18 percent, Gaia Merguicci, a community manager at told The Local.

The average monthly rent in Italy is around €780, up from €738 since last August, according to data from the website. Florence saw the steepest climb over the past six months, with rents increasing by 14.2 percent.

However, the most expensive place to rent is the business hub of Milan, where the monthly average is €1,823 followed by Rome at €1,629 and Florence at €1,228. The cheapest place is Ragusa, in Sicily, where rents average €390.

“People ‘choose’ to rent because they can’t afford to buy their own home; home ownership is a luxury for a small number of people,” added Merguicci.

As Italy’s economic crisis continues to bite, fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said their landlords had refused to lower the rent, while 12 percent said they managed to negotiate a decrease of up to five percent.

"My husband has just gone back to work after being unemployed for nearly two years and the landlord never lowered the price because he said he has too many expenses,” one person commented.

Another said it was “absurd” for rents to keep rising and that “landlords should be more consistent with the economic situation”.

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Fifty-four percent of those questioned were between the ages of 35 and 55, while 19 percent were aged 25-34 and 17 percent were 55 years or more.

One pensioner said: “How can one live on a pension of €516 while paying €425 in rent?” 

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