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Houses, transactions have slowed down

11 June, Il Sole 24 Ore

2018 has started with positive results concerning real estate transactions. It meant that houses continue to sell, more they did in the same period of last year. Hence, the trend started in 2014 is going on. However, the market has slowed down in the eight biggest cities of Italy.

Between January and March, 127,277 houses were sold, for a total surface of 13.4 million Sq m, +4.3% compared with the same period of 2017, but less in comparison with the +6.3% registered in the previous quarter. The market reported a positive performance for the 12th time in a row.

However, some areas have registered a negative sign, such as the central province capitals (-0.7%).

Smaller cities continue with the recovery: non-province capitals reported +5.5%, province capitals are stuck at 2.3%. In the last three months of 2017, the south registered the highest growth rate (+9.3% with a peak of 11.1% for medium-sized properties between 85 and 115 Sq m). In the first quarter of 2018, the islands registered the biggest growth, exceeding 6%, while the north and the south grew respectively by 5.8% and 5.5%.

Considering that the transactions concerned mostly first houses, both as a new purchase or as an upgrade of the current home, the most popular dimensions (one-third of the operations, equal to 39,855 houses) are comprised between 50 and 85 Sq m. The houses sold measuring between 85 and 115 Sq m were 34,996, while the houses measuring below 50 Sq m were only 11,741. This latter category consisted mainly of investments.

What about prices? They’re continuing to fall. In the last quarter of 2017, the values decreased by 0.3%, while nominal prices in the eurozone increased by 4.2%.

The slowdown of the main eight cities is surprising. They’ve been the least dynamic. Here, sales grew only by 0.7% (+3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017). The scenario is very varied. In Naples, the property market is thriving, reporting an 11.8% growth, while in Turin was only 3.9%.

Milan is catching the breath (0.9%), after having grown for 19 consecutive quarters. But there were fewer houses sold in Genoa, Florence, Rome and Bologna.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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