26 February, Corriere della Sera
Engel & Völkers is looking at Italy. The German company is looking for professionals, new cities, and, more importantly, new homes. To sell and to buy. Because “Italy is the most beautiful country in the world”. The real estate company from Hamburg with 40 years of activity, present in over 30 countries and staffing 11 thousand people around the world, bets on Italy for 2019. 2018 saw a double-digit growth. The net returns of the German company increased by 33% from 2017, having gone from 18.8 million to 25 million euro. The residential division which also includes the direct activity in the Metropolitan Market Center in Rome (31 thousand transactions in the Capital in 2018) grew by 22% with 31.8 million euro (they were 26.1 million in 2017), while they reached 728 million globally (from 667.8 in 2017).
Alberto Cogliati, Engel & Völkers commercial director for Italy, commented: “The results are not that obvious. We operate in a niche market, which is luxury homes. In the past few years, buyers have been mostly foreigners. 100% of the buyers in Porto Cervo were foreigners. In 2018, Italians returned buying luxury properties”, from the lakes of Lombardy to Tuscany, Sardinia, Milan and Rome. On the Garda Lake, for instance, “we’ve gone from 90% of foreigners in 2016-2017 to 75%, while 25% were Italians”. Even better on the Como Lake: “In Cernobbio, 75-80% of the buyers were foreigners. In 2018, 50% were Italians”. We’re talking about luxury homes in prime areas, as Cogliati explains:” We’re the leaders for this niche, holding 10% of the market”. This market, despite the recession, “never known a crisis”.
Foreigners are the main target. Cogliati says: “They’re our core clients. They love Italy: its climate, its arts, its food”. As a result, British, Germans, Dutch, French, Belgians and Americans continue dreaming about a house on the lake in Lombardy o in Argentario, in Siena, or Venice, or Rome. For what concerns 2019, Cogliati is positive: “we aim at increasing sales by 20% and expand further in Italy”. Engel & Völkers will hire about 130 people for its new offices.
Source: Corriere della Sera
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi