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The parts of Italy where house prices keep rising despite the pandemic

Here are the neighbourhoods where Italy's house prices are rising fastest since before the pandemic.
Here are the Italian neighbourhoods where house prices are rising fastest since before the pandemic.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Despite the Covid-19 health emergency damaging many sectors of Italy's economy, the nation's housing market has proven resilient - at least in some areas.

Italy suffered one of Europe’s worst economic slumps in 2020, and the nation’s property market – which was already sluggish pre-pandemic – has fluctuated.

Recent studies have shown that house prices are now declining again overall after a brief uptick last year.

But this isn’t the case across the board. Some areas are seeing a huge jump in demand that means prices just keep rising, according to the findings of a new survey by real estate website Idealista.

Considerable price hikes were noted in neighbourhoods on the outskirts of some of Italy’s large cities, as well as around smaller cities which tend to rank highly on ‘quality of life’ indexes.

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Idealista described the localised value increases as “the effect of a phenomenon of regionalisation of growth accentuated during the pandemic”.

The survey revealed the top ten areas that have experienced the greatest rebound and noted the factors they have in common.

“They are peripheral, well-connected and able to meet liveability criteria such as environmental quality and the quality of public space, while managing to satisfy people’s expectations of wellbeing,” stated the report.

This evolution in prices shows how the Italian real estate market is “undergoing a profound transformation”, defined as “a fragmentation into many micro-areas”.

The table below shows the top ten fastest growing Italian neighbourhoods, according to the study.

Source: Idealista/Datawrapper.

The province with the districts that has increased their value the most is Milan.

The Turro area of the Milanese city recorded a 44.9 percent rebound compared to the first quarter of 2020 – that is, the one immediately preceding the pandemic.

That places it ahead of Olmi-Muggiano (42.1 percent) and Val di Sole-Fatima (24.9 percent).

This substantial increase in Turro is attributed to the redevelopment of various areas of the district, as well as improvements connected to the university.

A creation of cycle paths that link different parts of the district are also said to have had a strong impact in this area.

In other sections of Milan, such as Olmi Muggiano, the rise in prices is due to the growing importance of the suburbs during the pandemic.

An increasing amount of people turning to remote working, or ‘smart working‘ as it’s known in Italy, has allowed many people to move to less central areas offering larger, more family-friendly homes at much cheaper prices.

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Padua ranks in the top ten list, with two neighbourhoods. Idealista explains that these are two strategic areas for travelling, both by public transport and by private vehicle.

Another province that has seen an increase in some of its districts is Modena, where growth is recorded at almost +25%.

Smart working has changed where people are buying houses in Italy.
Smart working has changed where people are buying houses in Italy. Photo: Persnickety Prints on Unsplash

These areas are thriving due to their proximity to the university, one of the oldest and most renowned in Europe.

“They feature large, newly built apartments in an area that offers greenery and tranquillity, in a strategic position thanks to its proximity to the historic centre,” the report says.

Bergamo, the Lombardy town at the centre of the first wave of Covid-19, also experienced a rise in house prices.

One district called Giovanni XXIII-Stazione saw sale prices rise by 23.6 percent. This growth, which occurred during the lockdowns, “is attributable to the frequent use of smart working by companies”, noted the study.

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It’s claimed that many people went back to Bergamo to work there, but used the good public transport connections to reach other cities in Lombardy when needed.

In central Italy, Arezzo is the province where prices have shot up most this year.

Explaining its popularity, the findings said the wealthy Tuscan town offers employment opportunities but at the same time very quiet, in the heart of the Tuscan countryside”.

Palermo takes the title for southern Italy. As various companies have allowed their employees to work remotely, Montepellegrino on the island of Sicily has been the district of choice.

“This area is well connected by a cycle path and offers the possibility of doing outdoor sports, enjoying a temperate climate,” says the report.

Despite Italy recording its biggest contraction in GDP since the end of World War II during the pandemic, house prices in Italy increased overall last year (by +7% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the end of 2019).

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.


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