12 July, Il Sole 24 Ore
User manual for the property market. After the transactions have been growing for 13 consecutive quarters, although prices are still far from recovering, is it true that buyers always have the upper hand? As prices are likely to further decrease in the second part of the year, except for prime locations and big cities, the trend of local transactions may give a better insight.
Il Sole 24 Ore created a survey based on the numbers from Omi regarding the various provinces to assess the dynamism of the market (in terms of transactions every 10 thousand people), along with the local transactions registered throughout the year. The figures confirm the vitality of Liguria coastal region and Valle d’Aosta, as the demand is driven here for holiday houses by non-residents.
The survey also shows the strength of the big cities in the north such as Milan, Turin, Genoa, Venice and Bologna. Here, the activities on the market brought to a shortening of closing times (with the benefit of sellers), and it attracted investors, thanks to the good perspectives offered by rentals and the relative liquidity of the properties, in case disinvesting is required.
In big cities with over one million people, 130 properties every 10 thousand people were transacted last year. That is 40 more than the national average. The recovery of the big cities is also confirmed by the fact that in Milan, Bologna, Turin and Venice the transactions every 10 thousand people exceeded 200, against the national average of 150.
The more a city is urbanised, more dynamic the property market will be, regardless of its dimensions. However, a good performance of the demand registered in 2017 didn’t imply everywhere an increase in the number of transactions from 2016. In fact, some geographical areas didn’t show a sharp variation of the transactions. The market struggled in Rieti (-7.3%), L’Aquila (-5.3%), Sondrio (-5.3%), in the provinces of Benevento and Isernia, and in some areas of Central Italy, like in the Marche with the only exception of Ancona. On the opposite side, there are Lucca (+15.5%), Trapani (+11.5%), Vibo Valentia (+10.9%), Bari (+10%), Enna (+9.8%) and Pistoia (+9.2%).
In conclusion, we can note that some areas historically not very active are among the regions that registered the most significant growth in transactions. The price trend could explain this. In fact, the recovery of sales started from the urban centres, and it spread to the more marginal areas, where prices plummeted, and are still falling, although less than in the past. As a result, the number of people who could afford to buy a house has increased, despite incomes remaining the same.
The dimensions of the properties seem not to have influenced the market trends: small properties up to 50 Sq m and those bigger than 145 Sq m have registered the highest growth rates.
What are the conclusions? In the areas where the market is growing the most, the chances to buy a property at bargain prices are likely to reduce. Analysts don’t expect prices to rise everywhere, but the best properties will not stay unsold for long. On the contrary, in the areas where the market is less active, buyers are advantaged, thanks also to the low interest rates which haven’t been impacted by the widening spread so far.
Source: Il Sole 24 Ore
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi