Buying a house in Italy

Why buy a home in Italy?

In short, the main reasons for which buying in Italy is a good deal are as follows: 
  • the uniqueness of the locations, full of natural beauty and art
  • the Mediterranean climate which guarantees hot summers and mild temperatures in the winter
  • the quality of life which combines good food, relaxation and fun
  • the real estate market which seems to be rather stable and offers a very wide range of properties
  • the tourism, which continues to grow and allows for the purchasing of a property that can be rented out to vacationers

The exceptional locations of the Italian regions?

Italy offers breathtaking landscapes, from the crystal clear coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the historical beauty of Rome, Florence and Venice, the snowy Val d'Aosta, the lush nature of the lakes of Lombardy  (Garda, Maggiore, Como), to the twelve hills of the Tuscan backcountry.
Discover the Italian regions in which to buy a house >>

The Mediterranean climate

The climate in Italy is enviable: the summers are hot, but thus is alleviated by the presence of the sea along the coast, the winters are fairly short and never too frigid, spring brings abundant blooming and autumn is mild, so much so that, at first it can provide temperatures comparable to those of spring.

The quality of life

"Made in Italy" is known of all over the world: fashion, food, wine. The food is varied and each region has exceptional recipes and dishes, the wine is world famous and the shopping is high quality and many of the biggest brands in fashion are Italian.  The sizes of the cities and the distances, often very short between different types of landscapes, offer a great quality of life, with all services close by and, finally, it has lots of fun things to offer from culture and sports to nightlife.

The stable market and the wide range of available properties

Like never before the choice of properties at a good price is plentiful. If one chooses the location carefully, great investments can be made in homes destined to increase in value with time and that can guarantee to provide a good income in the case of renting, especially in tourist locations. Tourism is continually growing in Italy: it attracts both the Italian public as well as foreign visitors. The variety of vacation destinations, from the sea to the mountains, guarantee a continuous influx of tourists. Moreover, the properties that can be found are of various types: from the renovated rustic farmstead, the antique villa, to the luxurious and economical apartment.

How does buying a home in Italy work?

Buying a house in Italy is generally, but not necessarily, divided into 3 phases:

  • The irrevocable purchase offer – The initiative through which the potential buyer submits to the seller the procedure and terms that regulate the transaction (price, delivery time, payment, agency commission). In order to demonstrate the authenticity of intentions, a small amount of money, the security deposit, is attached to the offer and delivered to the seller upon acceptance of the offer. Before signing the offer, it is best to check all the documents and carry out the mortgage and cadastral inspections.
  • The preliminary contract - It is, to all extents and purposes, a real contract that needs to be registered according to the law and which is binding for both parties, as far as the conclusion of a final agreement is concerned (a deed). The preliminary agreement which, for security reasons, should be transcribed by a notary, must include the personal information for each party, their fiscal code/social security number, the price, the payment conditions, the date of delivery of the goods, the date of the deed was and the details of the notary. In the instance that the buyer refuses to carry out the preliminary contract, the security deposit, paid at the moment of the acceptance of the purchase offer, will be lost; if, instead, the seller decides to back out, he must return double the amount of the security deposit to the buyer. Usually, when the contract is signed, the buyer pays more money to the buyer and pays for the agency commissions.
  • Final contract (Deed) - During the time elapsed between the preliminary contract and the deed (usually between 30-45 days), the notary will run inspections on the property. When the deed is signed, the full buying amount due will be paid (often through cashier’s checks) as well as notary services and purchase and sales taxes. The property will be transferred and the keys will be delivered. After about 40 days, the new owner will receive a copy of the registration of the transaction.

Property tax in Italy

Buying a property in Italy is subject to taxes (sales tax, registration, mortgage, cadastral) on the cadastral value or on the real value. The amount taxes can vary notably based on whether the seller is a private seller or a company, whether the home is a first house (to which to move residency) or a second house or if it is a luxurious property. Starting from January 1, 2014, the buying of a house is subject to the following taxes:

Type Seller VAT Registration Cadastral Mortgage
First house Physical person or Company type (1) No 2% 50 € 50 €
Second house Physical person or Company type (1) No 9% 50 € 50 €
First house Company type (2) 4% 200 € 200 € 200 €
Second house Company type (2) 10% or 22% 200 € 200 € 200 €

For a more accurate calculation of the taxes to be paid, it is strongly advised to contact a notary.

Company type (1): "Non-building developer" that has not carried out any renovation work, or "building developer" that sells 5 years after the completion of the work.
Company type (2): "Building developer" that sells within 5 years of the completion of the work.
The VAT tax is equal to 22% if the building is luxurious (cadastral category A/1, A/8 and A/9).