South Tyrol – Cortina d’Ampezzo: High demand from international buyers

Top prices per square metre of up to 20,000 euros for apartments in Cortina d’Ampezzo 

The real estate market in the Italian province and popular holiday region of South Tyrol witnessed an enormous surge in demand last year. This can, for the main part, be attributed to foreign buyers, as is evidenced in the South Tyrol-Cortina d’Ampezzo market report for the second half of 2021, just published by Engel & Völkers. After rather limited buyer activity at the beginning of 2021 due to the restrictions in place resulting from the pandemic, there was a significant recovery in demand in the second half of the year, with the number of transactions even exceeding pre-pandemic levels. “Overall buying activity was stronger than ever last year. Demand has also been high in the months to date in 2022 with a particular focus on properties in quiet locations,” reveals Elfi Untergassmair, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers South Tyrol and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Hamburg - South Tyrol – Cortina d’Ampezzo: High demand from international buyers

High demand in all locations, Top prices in Cortina d’Ampezzo 

Bolzano, the capital of South Tyrol, is one of the largest urban centres in the Alpine region. It is known as a meeting point for the wider surrounding area where cultural and economic life is both German-speaking and Italian-speaking. In addition to the historic old town in the centre, the villages of Bozen Dorf and Gries also count among the most popular addresses for prospective real estate buyers. Last year, apartments in these sought-after locations commanded top prices of up to 12,000 euros per square metre, while villas in the Bolzano area were offered on the market for up to 3.3 million euros.

A little further to the northeast, in the valley of the same name, Bressanone is one of the oldest towns in the South Tyrol region. In 2021, demand here was focused primarily, besides the city centre, on quiet peripheral locations with properties on large plots offering expansive outdoor spaces and panoramic views. Buyers paid up to 1.1 million euros for detached and semi-detached houses, and particularly sought-after new apartments commanded prices of up to 6,000 euros per square metre.

In the idyllic Pustertal valley, demand in Brunico is also shifting increasingly to include the rural outskirts of the town, in addition to the town centre. Residential properties here with ample space are particularly popular with young couples and families. Top prices of 2.8 million euros were fetched for houses in excellent locations in the Bruneck region last year. Apartments sold here for up to 12,000 euros per square metre.

The level of demand for real estate was particularly high last year in Merano, the second largest town in South Tyrol. Buyers were particularly drawn to properties in the city centre and in the areas of Obermais, Untermais, Dorf Tirol, Schenna and Algund. Villas in excellent positions reached top prices of 2.5 million euros, while apartments in excellent locations sold for 8,000 euros per square metre. 

The municipality of Cortina d’Ampezzo, geographically located outside of South Tyrol, is one of the most popular summer and winter sports regions in Italy. Here, the areas of Cianderies, Via Cantore, Via Pralongo, Via Spiga, Pecol and Via Faloria are among the most sought-after places to live. Top prices for houses here in prime locations reached approximately 3.8 million euros last year. Exclusive apartments commanded prices per square metre of up to 20,000 euros.

International buyers looking for retreats in quiet peripheral locations

Foreign clients account for the majority of property buyers in almost all towns in South Tyrol. On average, 40 percent of buyers come from Germany, 20 percent from other regions of Italy and 5 percent each from Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands and Great Britain. The ratio is particularly high in Merano (75 percent), followed by Bolzano (65 percent) and Brunico (60 percent). In Bressanone, Italian buyers dominate the market (70 percent). Properties in Cortina d’Ampezzo are almost exclusively purchased by domestic buyers (98 percent). 

Besides the central locations, focus is increasingly shifting to the outskirts, which offer buyers plenty of peace and privacy. Features in high demand include expansive outdoor space with a panoramic view, balcony or terrace, as well as additional living space to accommodate a home office. “The new requirements being placed on real estate – as a place for both home and work life – can be ideally combined in more secluded locations. As a result, the outskirts of cities in particular saw a considerable rise in demand in 2021,” says Elfi Untergassmair.

Outlook: Slight upward price trend forecast for 2022

For the remainder of the year, Engel & Völkers forecasts further price rises in the Italian Alpine region, albeit at a somewhat more moderate level. “The limited availability of listings, coupled with the sustained national and, above all, international demand for real estate in this region of the Italian Alps, will continue to lead to a slight increase in prices, although not to the same extent as the previous year. Buyer focus will continue to shift to peripheral regions,” Elfi Untergassmair sums up. 

The Engel & Völkers Market Report for South Tyrol 2022 can be found in full here.

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