Engel & Völkers Private Office > Blog > Capri: Historic Mediterranean island attracting international buyers

Capri: Historic Mediterranean island attracting international buyers

The picturesque Mediterranean island of Capri, to the west of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, draws holidaymakers from all over the world. Even during the Roman Empire, people were already enchanted by the beauty and majesty of this rocky island, building magnificent residences here with views looking out across the wide blue expanse of the sea. Renowned artists, intellectuals and writers including the likes of Oscar Wilde, Theodor Fontane and Rainer-Maria Rilke, and Hollywood stars and style icons such as Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly also found the island to be a source of inspiration and relaxation. Nowadays, Capri is a coveted second home market that combines “la dolce vita” with a quaint rural familiarity and unique natural surroundings. “Capri is a magnet for real estate buyers who are looking for a property with stable value, a fascinating panorama and a high quality of life,” says Massimo Salice, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers Capri-Amalfi, adding: “We are seeing demand from abroad rise particularly sharply. International prospective buyers often fall in love with the island’s charm and are looking for a second home here that could become their primary residence in the long term.”

Client interest gravitates towards premium properties with sea views

Two towns can be found on the Mediterranean island: Capri in the east and Anacapri in the west. The town of Capri is the island’s main centre. It boasts a classic Italian piazzetta, the central square that marks the beginning of the main shopping area. Just a few minutes’ walk from here are the island’s two harbours, the Marina Piccola and Marina Grande, as well as some of Capri’s most famous sights including the stunning Faraglioni Rocks, the Via Krupp footpath, and the ruins of the fabled Villa Jovis, built by the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Luxury properties with views of the sea and one of these landmarks are especially desirable. Exclusive apartments with balconies or terraces can be found for sale here for up to 2 euros, while traditional limestone villas with substantial hillside gardens and panoramic views sell for up to 5 million euros. 

Properties in the neighbouring town of Anacapri are also highly sought after. Spectacular sights and natural spectacles await here too, including the world-famous Blue Grotto and the Villa San Michele. In Anacapri too, prospective buyers tend to focus on exclusive properties overlooking the Mediterranean. Large villas in a traditional Capri style on secluded hillside plots with far-reaching sea views are on sale for as much as 3,5 million euros, while high-end apartments at prime addresses in the centre of the town have an asking price of up to 1 million euros.

“Besides the natural beauty on offer, it is the high quality of life and omnipresent sense of heritage on the island that are such a strong draw for property buyers,” says Cristina Carrani, Real Estate Agent at Engel & Völkers Capri-Amalfi, adding: “Anyone who owns a property on Capri also owns a slice of Mediterranean history. Each property is unique.”

International clientele dominates the market

About half of the real estate transactions on Capri are due to national buyers: Approximately 25 percent to Caprese buyers, and another 25 percent to a buyer clientele from mainland Italy. The second half can be attributed to buyer groups from abroad, including 20 percent from Germany, 20 percent from France, Belgium and Switzerland, and 10 percent from the USA.

“The proportion of domestic buyers on the island is decreasing, while the demand for second homes from abroad is increasing,” says Cristina Carrani, who adds: “With new opportunities available in terms of remote working, many people now the option that was previously almost impossible to imagine – of living and working on the island with a flexible schedule. That has boosted the appeal of owning a property here considerably.” 

Outlook: Limited availability continues to keep prices stable

Engel & Völkers expects prices to stabilise at a high level and short marketing periods for properties on Capri to remain for the rest of this year. The availability of real estate is very limited, due to the unique rocky terrain of the island and strict building regulations, as Massimo Salice confirms: “The property market on Capri is and will remain an absolute niche market.” Christina Carrani adds: ”Some prospective buyers will spend years looking for a property here as a result.”

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