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Sales increased in Emilia Romagna, but prices are unchanged

30 October, Milano Finanza

In 2018 the property market in Emilia Romagna has consolidated the recovery trend started a couple of years ago. According to the figures by Scenari Immobiliari in collaboration with Casa.it, the transactions in the region represent 9.4% of the total residential transactions in Italy. The estimated variation from 2017 is equal to 15.7%, corresponding to approximately 59 thousand properties sold. This performance places Emilia Romagna second in the national chart. Although at a slower pace, the trend is expected to continue also in the next two years, reaching 72 thousand transactions by 2022 and returning to the pre-crisis levels.

“The demand of house purchases is driving the market”, explained Luca Dondi, Nomisma Ceo, confirming the positive trend. “But the price trend in the big cities is still negative. The market is positively evolving but prices are not changing, or they’re aligned with the transaction trend in best cases. We estimate to go back to a positive performance only in 2022”, as long as the scenario won’t change due to the financial tensions. “Four people every five need a loan to buy a house. If the current financial tensions on the market will continue, banks will be forced to raise their rates and make a stricter selection when issuing loans”, warned Dondi. On the coastal region, the trend is similar to that of big cities, but the recovery is more difficult here since the recession had impacted the tourist destinations at a later stage. “Concerning the number of transactions, the most significant increases were recorded in Emilia and Rimini. Forlì, Ravenna, Cesena and Ferrara have also reported positive results, while all the other provinces are stable”, said Stefano Minghetti, area manager for Tecnocasa Emilia-Romagna, based on the data concerning sales. Sales have decreased in some cases, although the offer doesn’t always meet the demand.  “Some parts of the province of Bologna and Ferrara saw their prices decrease up to 50%”, said Minghetti. Who is not in a hurry to sell prefers waiting for better times. The property value increases for prime properties or if centrally located. He continued: “Such properties can sell in 40/50 days in comparison with the usual three/six months”.

Concerning rentals, the market in Bologna has shifted towards tourist rentals, thanks to the opening of the new airport that favoured the increase of visits. “The market is focused on short-term rentals, causing some difficulties, especially to students. Their needs are only in part met by student halls and investors”, stressed Luca Dondi. “This unbalance may penalise Bologna as a student city”.

The report by Banca d’Italia on the regional economy showed an improvement in the non-residential segment. The total number of transactions in the region increased by 7.8% in 2017, thanks to the positive trends in all the segments, especially shops and offices. However, also in this case prices have dropped due to the significant stock of unsold properties which have been partly balanced by the low number of new developments.

Regarding the retail segment, according to Cbre, the investment volume in the first three months of 2018 was equal to 76 million euro, 35 of which were invested in high street, 12 in retail parks and 29 in shopping centres. “The outlook for this market is positive, with solid and intraregional projects. There are also some upcoming openings for about 100/150 shops resulting in a wider and more diversified offer, including food and entertainment”, explained Pierluigi Paolettoni, head of Cbre development department.

The requested dimensions depend on the type of activity: from 100/150 Sq m GLA for local shops to 4,500/6,500 euro/Sq m GLA for superstores. Bars and restaurants represent a very dynamic segment with a 1.2% growth. The requested dimensions for such properties go from 15 Sq m of kiosks to 500 Sq m.

Paolettoni continued: “Concerning rentals, commercial spaces inside established shopping centres are very popular. Retail parks too, if well-positioned, are being evaluated by brands, as they’re seen as a post-recession alternative, plus brands are now more open to new challenges. The manager reminded that “some of them, for instance, allows customers to shop online inside the store through dedicated terminals or computers, having found an alternative way of using the physical store”. The average lease for high street shops in Bologna is set at 2,200 euro/Sq m. In Galleria Cavour, a 100/150 Sq m commercial space costs approximately 300 thousand euro, for 250/350 Sq m, the price is 280 thousand euro. In Via Rizzoli, a 200/300 Sq m shop costs 160 thousand euro. In Via Ugo Bassi, a 150/200 Sq m shop costs 140 thousand euro.

The 2018 real state report by the Revenue Agency in collaboration with Assilea reported 67,500 office in Emilia Romagna for 2017, representing 10.5% of the total in Italy. Transactions have increased by 2.3% with average prices around 1,471 euro/Sq m, having slightly decreased (-0.9%) from the previous year, whereas they have increased in the provincial capitals (1,853, -1.3%). According to Tecnocasa, the office segments in Emilia Romagna suffers from the lack of adequate properties on offer. The demand is focused on 200 Sq m spaces. The time to sell or to rent an office space is about 5/6 months. In Bologna, the demand varies according to the district. In the city centre, Tecnocasa reported an increase in the demand equal to 5% from 2017. The average prices are comprised between 2 thousand euro/Sq m for a not renovated property to 3,800 euro/Sq m for renovated or prime properties. The demand for properties to buy or to rent near the station has increased. Finally, in the area around the city ring, the demand for rentals has increased, while the prices for buying have remained stable at 1,300/1,400 euro/Sq m for properties to renovate or 2,000/2,300 euro/Sq m for renovated properties.

Source: Milano Finanza

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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