Top ten bargain properties in Italy

Property prices in Italy fell by almost 12 percent in 2012, triggering a rise in foreign investment as buyers take advantage of a market where locals are struggling to get on the property ladder. With the help of estate agents, The Local has drawn up a list of where the bargain properties are to be found.

Top ten bargain properties in Italy
This four-storey house in Abruzzo, on the market for €149,000, is one of many attracting interest from foreign buyers. Photo: A Place In The Sun

Italy has always been popular with foreign buyers but it has traditionally been seen as one of the more expensive destinations for a European holiday home, Sarah Norman, marketing director for A Place in the Sun, a television series broadcast on the UK's Channel 4, tells The Local.  

Not anymore: house prices have been steadily declining since their 2008 peak, while a further fall of 1.3 percent is forecast for 2013, Norman says.

“Your cash is now stretching a lot further than it used to,” she adds. 

A four-bedroom house can be found from as little as €38,000, while more luxurious homes, complete with swimming pools, vineyards and period features, can be found for under €200,000.

Click here for a list of the bargain properties to be found across Italy, from a three-coned Trullo house in Puglia to an eighteenth century country house in Marche. 

John Dillon, an estate agent with RealPoint Property, says Puglia and Emilia-Romagna are among the most sought-after regions, while many foreigners are also flocking to Sicily and Calabria to snap up properties abandoned by locals heading north for work.

A range of homes in Italy will be on show at the A Place in the Sun exhibition, which is taking place at Olympia London on 28th-30th March next year. Readers of The Local can receive free tickets to the show by clicking here.

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Tax deadline nears for second-home owners in Italy

Tax season begins in Italy in mid-June, with the first deadline coming up this month for those who own a second home in the country.

Tax deadline nears for second-home owners in Italy

June 16th is the first property tax deadline of the year that all owners of a second home in Italy, regardless of their nationality or residency status, need to know about

The main property tax in Italy, known as Imposta Municipale Unica (IMU) in fact applies to all residential or commercial property and land, although not to primary residences (barring some exceptions).

READ ALSO: What taxes do you need to pay if you own a second home in Italy?

Generally, you don’t pay this tax if your main residence is in Italy and you live in the country more than six months a year.

But if it’s your second home, you will be liable to pay this tax.

The June deadline is for the first instalment, with the other payment due by December 16th.

How much?

Taxes on second homes are inherently higher than primary residences – or at least, a main home qualifies for certain types of tax relief that second homes can’t benefit from.

How much you pay depends on your property and the area you live in: payments are based on a percentage of the property value, collected by the municipality where your home is located, with part of the tax also going to the national government.

READ ALSO: Can second-home owners get an Italian residence permit?

As a rough guide, you’ll need to take 5 percent of the property value and then multiply that number by a coefficient – a figure that changes according to property type.

This will give you a taxable base and from there you’ll be charged anything from 0.4 to 1.06 percent of that figure, depending on the municipality where your second home is located.

If that sounds complicated, that’s because unfortunately it is.

You can use this handy online IMU calculator from property website Idealista to get an idea of how much you may need to pay.

For the most accurate calculation though you will likely want to speak to a tax professional.

How do you pay?

You pay your IMU using the F24 tax form, and an online payment service is now available via the Italian tax agency’s website here

Otherwise, you can make the payment using the F24 form via bank branches and post offices or have an authorised person (such as an accountant or tax consultant) submit it for you.

Please note The Local cannot advise on specific cases. See more in The Local’s property section here.