14 October, La Repubblica
Prices are rising from Taormina to the islands. Foreigners spend 780 million.The survey by Scenari Immobiliari: the year will close with 600 sales. The highest prices in Panarea and Pantelleria
In Sicily, the prices for holiday houses are rising, on average by 1.4% compared to last year and there are many foreigners among the buyers. This is what emerges from “South Forum – investing in a territory to relaunch the Country” organised by the independent research centre Scenari Immobiliari that captures the situation of the holiday houses in tourist destinations and of the unrented apartments in the big cities.
The number of properties bought by foreigners raises from 80 deals concluded in 2007 to 450 in 2016, till the forecast for 600 houses sold in 2017. The survey was created by comparing the prices on hundreds of real estate ads. Sicily gets 1.5% of the international buyers, for a turnover of 400 million euro in 2016, 20.1% more compared to 2015. The forecast for the end of 2017 is around 780 million euro. More than half of the purchases has gone into the province of Palermo, followed by Catania with 20% of the sales, concentrated in the areas of Acicastello, Acireale, Fiumefreddo.
“This is a phenomenon that originated in Tuscany a couple of years ago – explains Mario Breglia, president of the institute – “it then spread in Umbria, and now is picking up in Salento and Sicily. Properties facing the sea located in tourist destinations are selling well. Many of the buyers are Germans followed by Russians and British. They’re mostly retired managers or professionals that dream about a house in a country with mild weather. The geopolitical changes and risk of terrorism have an influence in the choice. Sicily is considered one of the safest areas in the Mediterranean”.
Purchases and prices are growing especially in the smaller islands. The highest prices have been registered in Panarea, starting from prices of 5 thousand euro per Sq m till a maximum of 8 thousand euro per Sq m. In Pantelleria, the highest prices are 8 thousand euro per Sq m. Lipari too reports a good performance, with prices between 3,100 and 5,300 euro per Sq m. Ustica has lower prices, the maximum is 2,600 euro per Sq m.
In the island of Sicily, instead, Taormina has registered the best results: prices go from 4 thousand to 7 thousand euro per Sq m. Noto and Pachino are very popular too with prices between 7 thousand and 2 thousand euro per Sq m. Generally, Sicily is the seventh among the Italian regions in terms of sales, with 32,500 transactions in 2016, rising by 6.6% compared to 2015.
The preference of foreigners for houses facing the sea is confirmed by Alessandro Cali, owner of Engel & Volkers, with offices in Palermo and Trapani and clients in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, and Belgium. “They want to buy a house and use it for one, two, three weeks a year for their holidays, then they let it in the national and international market. Among my clients, there is a German surgeon that bought a house in the Trapani area, on the coast between San Vito Lo Capo and Cornino, for 390 thousand euro. An Austrian entrepreneur bought a property in Castellammare del Golfo for 220 thousand euro. A Belgian client purchased a house by the sea in Trappeto for 340 thousand euro. Whereas Mondello is less popular due to the traffic and the lack of infrastructure”.
Source: La Repubblica (by Isabella Napoli)
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi