Tuscany: number of international luxury property buyers on the rise

The residential property market in Tuscany remains very popular and is registering a rise in demand. The outstanding scenery, remarkable art treasures and historic cities of this Italian region draw not only tourists but also foreign buyers and real estate investors. The central Italian region stretches from the Apennine Mountains to the Tyrrhenian Sea. “We are seeing increased interest from clients around the world and expect the number of property sales to grow over the coming years. Tuscany is the perfect place for a holiday home or retirement retreat,” says Alberto Cogliati, Expansion Director at Engel & Völkers Italy.

Hamburg - Diese Villa aus dem 18. Jahrhundert in Piazzale Michelangelo in Florenz wird für 5,5 Millionen Euro verkauft. Sie erstreckt sich über 1,000 Quadratmeter und verfügt über acht Schlafzimmer und fünf Badezimmer. (Bildquelle: Engel & Völkers Firenze Michelangelo)

Florence

Over the centuries, artists such as Botticelli, da Vinci and Michelangelo have been instrumental in shaping Tuscany’s capital city of Florence. Its impressive architecture and rich art collection attract both tourists and investors alike. In Florence and the surrounding areas, the maximum price reached for a property in 2018 is as much as 20 million euros. International buyers tended to gravitate towards areas such as Pian dei Giullari and Poggio Imperiale in the hills around Florence, where high prices were achieved. “The most sought-after homes are country houses offering privacy and exclusivity, with large gardens and swimming pools. In the capital itself, investors often buy historic freehold apartments adorned with frescoes. Most of these are then renovated and rented out,” says Suela Musmuca, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers Firenze Michelangelo. Due to the growing interest from abroad, real estate prices can also be expected to rise in the coming years.

Siena

The historic city of Siena is located in the heart of Tuscany. In 2018, clients of Engel & Völkers tended to acquire properties as second homes or retirement residences, and were attracted above all to the city centre or the immediate vicinity. As well as properties in Siena, investors showed interest in freehold apartments in the historic small towns of San Gimignano and Pienza. Country estates in the Sienese Hills were also favoured. Investors search for apartments as well as large-scale farmhouses with a swimming pool, olive groves or vineyards in areas such as Chianti and Valdorcia, in order to renovate them and consequently rent them out. “In the last 12 months we have seen an increase in international buyers from China, South Korea and the USA. As demand for properties grows, so are prices also on the increase,” says Annalisa Caparelli, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers Siena. Luxury real estate prices peaked at 20 million euros. Over the coming years, the company expects a rise in buyers from the Far East.

Castiglione della Pescaia – Argentario

In the province of Grosseto, also known as “The Tuscan Maremma”, there are two particularly sought-after towns: Castiglione della Pescaia and Monte Argentaio. Both are located on the Tyrrhenian coast and offer premium properties surrounded by hills, the sea and the archaeological villages. “These exclusive locations offer a host of sporting opportunities, as well as picturesque panoramas and beaches. Domestic buyers sought homes on the coast here, while international investors – especially German nationals – showed an interest in rural villas with swimming pools and sea views,” says Fabrizio Pasquini, Managing Partner of Engel & Völkers Castiglione della Pescaia - Argentario. Roccamare and Punta Ala, both areas located close to Castiglione della Pescaia and Monte Argentario, are highly desirable among actors, aristocrats and successful entrepreneurs. Houses here have reached top prices of up to 8 million euros, whereas apartments commanded prices per square metre of up to 8,000 Euros. Alongside British, Russian, German and Austrian buyers, prospective investors from China and the Arab countries are also expected for the coming year.

Viareggio – Forte dei Marmi

Further north is the coastal area of Versilia, which includes Viareggio and the world-famous jet-set resort of Forte dei Marmi. The main buyer groups here include international clients from Northern Europe and investors, who are drawn above all to exclusive houses with gardens, swimming pools and sea views, especially in the hills of Pietrasanta. Real estate in Forte dei Marmi fetched sale prices of up to 15 million euros in 2018. The highest price for a freehold apartment was 13,000 euros per square metre. “Plans are underway to redevelop properties in Versilia over the coming years and we anticipate a rise in interest, especially from foreign investors,” says Cristina Sodini, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers Viareggio-Forte dei Marmi.

Outlook: now is a good time for investments

Engel & Völkers estimates that the level of demand for premium first and second homes in Tuscany’s prime locations will continue to increase in 2019 and in the coming years. “Due to the strong demand from abroad and the high level of interest from domestic buyers, prices for residential property are expected to continue rising,” says Alberto Cogliati.

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