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  • Property in Italy market to bounce back next year

Property in Italy market to bounce back next year

The property in Italy market will begin to see values rise again from next year, the think-tank Nomisma forecast this week.

It tips prices in Italy's 13 largest cities to go up 0.6% in the first six months of 2011 and 1.3% in the following six months, buoyed by the resurgence in the US and UK property sectors. And despite turbulent market conditions, demand for luxury Italian real estate remained strong, the report by the Bologna-based organisation added.

The data again reinforces previous findings that the Italian housing market has weathered the tough global conditions better than most other countries, because prudent mortgage lending has saddled Italy with far lower household and business debt than elsewhere.

But the Nomisma study shows how not even Italy has managed to stay completely immune from dwindling property values. Prices in 2009 were on average 0.7% less on 2008, with large cities (down 4.1%) and medium-sized conurbations (down 3.7%) bearing the brunt of the decline. Its experts predict 2010 will also see a modest decline in prices – by 1% in the first half of 2010 and 0.9% in the second half.

According to the organisation's chief executive Gualtiero Tamburini, though, among the most significant data unearthed by his researchers regards the 30% decline in housing sales volume, down from 850,000 to 600,000 over the past two years. The aggregate value of the Italian real estate market, €154billion in 2007, is now put at €109million, of which €91million (83.5%) relates to the residential sector and €18billion (16.5%) to commercial property.

These statistics are thought to indicate that prospective vendors are delaying selling until prices rise, while prospective purchasers are delaying buying in the hope of values coming down. Unsurprisingly, this uneasy equilibrium has increased the typical length of time required to complete real estate transactions.

The period has also seen a €10billion fall in property investment accompanied by the loss of 200,000 jobs – 150,000 in the construction industry and 50,000 in real estate services.

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