New Overseas Property Hotspot? Property in Calabria.
Posted by jamesdearsley on July 8, 2009
I am not sure that I should really say “new” here as there has been a lot of talk in the industry now about Calabria. I shall focus here for two reasons. Firstly, of all the areas in Italy, perhaps with the exception of Puglia (the heel), Calabria is seen as an undiscovered market and one with a fantastic amount of potential. Secondly, my company promotes property in this area and I have actually purchased myself down here.
Therefore I feel perfectly placed to comment on both the positive and perhaps negative aspects of this “hotspot”. Feel free before reading this post to have a look at some example of properties by clicking hereSo let me start with why I decided on investing in Italy. Having been in the Industry for many years I had often thought about investing myself and when we decided to launch in Southern Italy I felt now was the right time. Primarily, I have seen so many people make fantastic investments in off plan property that I felt now was the right time. Also I knew, from looking at the prices of property out there, they represented great value.
When I did the initial research into the region it was brilliantly obvious that this area was completely untouched by mass development and, because of the relief of the land, would not sustain too much development. The region of Calabria has fantastic beaches which are dwarfed by the most amazing mountains which would obviously make Property Development an expensive option.
I mentioned that they have fantastic beaches. The Sunday Times mentioned the best beach holiday was situated in
this region (in the town of Tropea). See the full article here. However they don’t just have fantastic beaches. As I mentioned before Calabria also has fantastic scenery just moments from the beach. The photo on your right was taken 5 minutes from the beach at Pizzo Beach and just shows you how unspoilt the area really is.
Again while doing our research about whether we started to sell in the area we looked at the infrastructure of the area. This is always important to us when we are looking at viable investments for our clients. It had been rumoured at the time that the Italian Government were investing €3 billion (I have heard some people quoting up to €100 billion which I can assure you is not correct) of both National and EU investment as part of the 2007-2013 Cohesion plan. This has been confirmed and half of the money is coming from the EU and there is an interesting split about where the money is going.
I will only comment on a few areas like transport and tourism. 16% of the money is set to expand the region from an accessibility perspective. Currently there are three main airport (Lamezia, Reggio Calabria and Crotone) and all of these are having major work down. Only last week an announcement was made about these airports suggesting €40 million was being shared out among them to expand and improve their infrastructure and services – read the article in the local Italian press here. On top of this, if you get to go out there, major works are being carried out on all road systems to improve the network which is incredible to witness. They are building a motorway that hugs the coastline all around Calabria which entails huge tunnels being built and, rumour has it, a collection of the largest bridges in Europe!
To top all of the infrastructure projects off, there is the confirmed reports of a 2.5 mile suspension bridge (the worlds longest) connecting Calabria up with Sicily. See the latest report from the Daily Telegraph here. This project alone would be costing in the region of €6bn which has come in for quite a bit of scepticism recently.
When looking at a new region to promote my company, Atlas International, also looks, obviously, at the property market and looks at what is attractive about it. To give you a few ideas what drew us to the area and also what tempted me into buying included:
- Property in Italy hadn’t seen the crazy increases of other European countries and had been a solid and consistent performer
- Prices were predicted to rise 15% per year however for the next 5 years against past years but due to the huge investment in the area
- There were no restrictions on Non Italian Nationals buying property
- NO capital gains tax if you sold the property after 5 years
- There is no Inheritance tax in Italy – it was abolished in 2001
- You could receive 80% loan to value mortgages relatively easily
From an industry perspective one of the most attractive factors concerning this area is that there seems to be no dominant market buying here. If you take Spain for example, it has long been a favourite for most European countries and this region of Italy is probably the closest that I have seen to this. Obviously this is great for the area in terms of potential growth because no one market will dominate and tourism will obviously be affected.
I am certainly pleased that I invested in the area and I am sure that many people over the next few years will be as well. With everything opening up and money being invested it is bound to be a great investment and justifiably holds the “future hotspot” label.
Best wishes everyone