The beauty and charm of Portofino, Cinqueterre and Golfo dei Poeti at the Ligurian Riviera has drawn celebrities as well as travelers to visit its Mediterranean landscape, fine cuisine and idyllic fishing ports for many decades. During the coronavirus pandemic the region has not undergone major fluctuations in property prices and has maintained its attractiveness. But market trends have changed as they are adapting to new clients’ needs that emerged during the lockdown period. “Clients are now mainly interested in apartments or villas with outdoor spaces. They are looking towards large-sized properties that can serve as a meeting point for the whole family,” declares Alberto Linari, Office Manager of Engel & Völkers Santa Margherita-Portofino.
In addition to Liguria’s capital Genoa, the largest and most important port in Italy, the region offers splendid villages along the sea and in the mountains. Not only is Liguria the perfect destination for tourists, but also a great location for future property owners and investors. European second home buyers especially look for real estate in the Riviera di Ponente, in the west of the region, as it is also in close proximity to the Côte D’Azur and the airport of Nice. “This year around 60 percent of the clientele is international and come primarily from Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. On the other hand, the demand from customers from Northern Italy who are looking for properties with the idea of becoming their first home is increasing,” says Katia Cometto, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers Sanremo-Imperia. In 2020, villas with gardens and pools are being sold for as much as 11 million euros. Apartments with sea-view and a terrace have reached top prices per square metre of 14,000 euros in Portofino.
French impressionist painter Claude Monet made the medieval village of Dolceacqua, in the mountainous area of the Riviera di Ponente, subject of some of his famous paintings. The stretch of the western portion of the Italian Riviera also inspired the prominent Italian poet Eugenio Montale, who sang its praises in his poems. Liguria furthermore happened to be a perfect retreat for highly renowned people, who’s properties are now accessible to the public. In Ventimiglia, approximately 12 kilometres from the French border, is Villa Hanbury of British philanthropist Thomas Hanbury, who used to collect plants from all over the world. These can now be visited in its Hanbury Botanical Gardens. In the late 1800s, Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and creator of the Nobel Prize, lived in Villa Nobel in Sanremo for six years.
According to Engel & Völkers the attractiveness of spacious real estate with outdoor spaces is on the rise. The most longed-for locations will continue to be Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, Sanremo and Camogli, all located along the Riviera. “At the moment we haven’t experienced a decline in the value of properties, we need to wait for further developments in September and October when we will have to deal with the economic effects,” says Alberto Linari. “Due to the high demand for properties with large outdoor spaces, we believe that the prices will remain stable,” he concludes.