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South Tyrol: Demand from abroad leads to rising prices

The upturn on the residential property market in South Tyrol continues. This is apparent, for example, in the average prices for high-end properties in the premium segment in Bolzano and Merano, which rose once again in the second half-year of 2017. This is one of the findings of the current Engel & Völkers “Market Report for South Tyrol and Cortina d’Ampezzo 2018”. Alongside these two locations, the property company also surveyed price developments in Cortina d’Ampezzo. “The demand for exclusive homes remains high and far exceeds the number of such properties on the market. The current rise in buyer interest from abroad is a particularly strong factor that is sending prices even higher,” said Elfi Untergassmair, Managing Partner of Engel & Völkers in South Tyrol and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Bologna - Living in South Tyrol - the high demand from abroad ensures growth in the real estate market. Engel & Völkers provides insights with the latest market report.

Bolzano: Buyers from Italy dominate the market  

In South Tyrol’s province capital Bolzano, demand is centred mainly on exclusive residential properties in the historic centre and the sought-after district of Gries-Quirein. Freehold apartments ranging from 50 to 150 square metres are enjoying particularly high demand. Properties with panoramic views, a balcony or terrace, and parking are also popular with buyers. In the second half-year of 2017, the average prices for new properties in very good locations were between 6,000 and 8,000 euros per square metre. Exceptional homes in absolutely prime locations with exclusive amenities reached top prices per square metre of 9,000 euros during this period. 50 percent of prospective buyers are local residents, while 12 percent come from the Trient area or other regions in Italy. They invest either in a second home here or a holiday apartment as a capital investment. International demand comes primarily from German and Austrian buyers. Engel & Völkers has also registered an increased interest from clients from North America and the UK who are looking above all for rooftop apartments and villas. For foreign clients, an investment in Bolzano is regarded as a safe haven for their assets. They have sufficient equity capital to not have to enter into any mortgage borrowing.

Merano: Top prices of up to 5,000 euros per square metre

Also very popular with buyers is Merano in the South Tyrolean Alps. The town is known for its health spas and art nouveau buildings. Prime locations here include the upmarket district of Obermais. Clients are especially drawn to Merano for its diverse scenery and the high quality of residential property. Rooftop apartments spanning more than 100 square metres and worth in excess of one million euros are in particular demand, followed by villas worth upwards of two million euros. In addition, there is a strong interest in castles and exceptional designer building developments. The market for such new homes is practically non-existent, due to restrictions on planning permission and the higher proportion of listed historic properties. In the second half-year of 2017, properties in prime locations reached top prices on average of up to 5,000 euros per square metre. Due to the high excess in demand, the rising prices are compounded by an extremely short average time-to-market. Exclusive homes in prime locations are not usually on the market for more than three months. Over 50 percent of clients are from abroad, with 90 percent from German-speaking countries.

Cortina d’Ampezzo: No end in sight for strong rise in prices

Cortina d’Ampezzo is the most sought-after ski resort in northern Italy. Both national and international visitors are drawn to the popular year-round holiday destination for the diverse range of sporting pursuits, the scenery, and the good infrastructure. The property market in Cortina d’Ampezzo is witnessing a sustained increase in prices. The reason for this is the high demand for second homes coupled with an extremely limited availability of properties at the same time. This can be attributed first and foremost to a lack of vacant building plots in prime locations, and restrictions on new building developments. Very good locations include the roads Via Spiga, Via Rinaldo Menardi and Corso Italia at the centre of the resort. The nearby village of Cianderies is also extremely popular with buyers. Clients in Cortina d’Ampezzo are primarily looking for freehold apartments of between 100 and 120 square metres, with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and panoramic views. In the second half-year of 2017, the average price for residential properties in prime locations was 14,000 euros per square metre. Absolutely exceptional homes sold for even higher prices, at as much as 16,000 euros per square metre. Italian buyers continue to dominate the property market in Cortina d’Ampezzo. They tend to buy freehold apartments, particularly as capital investments.

Outlook: The upward trend is set to continue

Engel & Völkers estimates that the prospects for the residential property market in South Tyrol and Cortina d’Ampezzo will remain positive for the remainder of the year. In view of the strong excess in demand, the property company forecasts that prices will remain stable or increase slightly, particularly in the premium segment. “We are currently very pleased with the development of the residential property market in South Tyrol and Cortina d’Ampezzo. In the future too, properties will increasingly attract the interest of private and institutional investors, both from Italy and abroad, due to the potential for high returns,” said Elfi Untergassmair.

Engel & Völkers has been operational in South Tyrol since 2014, with residential property shops in Bolzano, Merano and Bruneck. A further shop opened its doors in Cortina d’Ampezzo in 2015.

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