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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Can British people in Italy claim the UK’s winter fuel payment?

In the UK, there are various benefits available to help eligible people through the cold winter months – one of which is the winter fuel payment. But can Britons living in Italy really claim this benefit to cover the cost of heating their Italian homes?

Can British people in Italy claim the UK’s winter fuel payment?

Average winter temperatures vary across Italy, but those who move here after only experiencing scorching summers are often surprised to discover just how cold the country can get.

Even the hardiest of arrivals from colder climes will no doubt have to switch on the radiators or fire up the woodburner between November and February – despite the surging costs.

READ ALSO: Not just gas: How the cost of heating has soared in Italy

As the cost of living crisis bites, some UK nationals who reside in Italy may wonder if they could still be eligible for winter fuel financial support from the UK.

What is the UK’s winter fuel payment?

The UK’s winter fuel payment is a tax-free payment to help older people with heating costs during the cold winter months.

Those eligible must have been born before September 26th 1956, according to the UK government’s website.

How much people receive depends on their age and whether anyone else in the household is also eligible, but the amount is usually between £250 and £600.

I’m a UK national living in Italy. Can I claim the winter fuel payment?

Yes, if you meet the following criteria according to the British government’s website:

“If you do not live in the UK, you’re only eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment if:

  • you moved to an eligible country before 1 January 2021
  • you were born before 26 September 1956
  • you have a genuine and sufficient link to the UK – this can include having lived or worked in the UK, and having family in the UK”

Unlike Spain and France, which the British government has deemed to be too warm on average, Italy is on the list of eligible countries along with Austria, Germany, Sweden, and others.

Find out how to claim the fuel payment on the UK government’s website here.

According to the UK government, during winter the average temperature is between 2 and 7 degrees Celsius in the UK.

READ ALSO: At what time of day is electricity cheapest in Italy?

The Italian government divides the country into six ‘climate zones’ which determine when and for how long residents should have their heating switched on each winter.

According to the government’s classification, the coldest parts of the country are the northern provinces of Cuneo, Trento, and Belluno, where no heating restrictions apply.