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Where in Italy are house prices rising fastest?

Property values are expected to continue rising overall in Italy in 2023, but the situation looks much better in some cities than others. Here's how average prices compare.

Where in Italy are house prices rising fastest?
The northern port city of Genoa. House prices are rising much more quickly in some parts of Italy than others. Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Until 2020 Italy’s real estate market had long suffered stagnation, weighed down by a large number of old, neglected properties which were proving difficult to sell.

But the pandemic turned Italy’s property market on its head, leading to the first slight increase in house prices for years at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

This trend has held up since, and industry experts cautiously predict further price growth in 2023 – albeit even more modest than previously hoped.

Factors putting the brakes on growth include the soaring cost of living eroding households’ purchasing power, rising mortgage interest rates, the soaring cost of building materials, and a shrinking economy.

REVEALED: Where in Europe have house prices and rent costs increased the most?

Mortgages are also expected to become more difficult to obtain in 2023, meaning fewer people able to make a purchase.

But despite the gloomy picture overall, the outlook varies significantly around the country and some cities are expected to see a significant rise in prices this year.

Milan remains by far the most expensive major Italian city for a property purchase, but prices are rising faster elsewhere. Photo by Ron Dylewski on Unsplash

A recent report from Idealista Insights, the property search portal’s research team, looked at changes in the average prices per square metre in property listings in Italy’s biggest cities.

In 2022, the price per square metre “generally increased throughout the country, with ‘exclusive’ neighbourhoods becoming even more inaccessible to the average buyer,” the report found.

But, while bigger northern cities saw rising prices across the board, most southern cities were struggling with “stagnation”, it said.

Based on Idealista’s data, here are the ten most expensive cities to buy property in Italy, in order of the rate at which prices are rising.

  1. Genoa: the Ligurian capital is Italy’s tenth-most expensive city to live in – but prices here are rising faster than anywhere else on average, according to Idealista. An increase of 4.5 percent is forecast for Genoa in 2023, meaning the price per square metre will go from 1,602 to 1,674 euros.
  2. Bologna: Bologna records the second-highest price increase in Italy compared to 2022. The citywide average price per square metre will rise by an estimated 3.9 percent, reaching 3,419 euros.
  3. Verona: in seventh place we find the city of Romeo and Juliet, where the increase in prices is substantial, equal to 3.2 percent. The average cost will rise by around 80 euros per square metre, going from 2,483 to 2,563 euros per square metre.
  4. Milan: Italy’s economic capital will easily remain the most expensive city for property purchases, with prices set to rise by 2.9 percent compared to 2022. The average price per square metre is expected to exceed 5,300 euros, 150 more than now, with significant price variation between city districts.
  5. Bari: The capital of Puglia in the south-east is set to record an price increase of 2.8 percent, with the citywide average price per square metre going from 1,909 euros to 1,962 – making it the ninth most expensive Italian city in which to buy property and the only southern city to record a significant increase. 
  6. Turin: The northwestern city can expect an overall price increase of 1.5 percent, equal to around 30 euros more per square metre for a final price of 1,979 euros on average. 
  7. Florence: The Tuscan capital still has the second-highest prices, and can expect an average price increase of 1.4 percent, with the cost per square metre to rise from 4,128 to 4,184 euros .
  8. Rome: The capital may have some highly sought-after and expensive districts, but overall average prices will remain at around 3,336 euros, up slightly from 3,360 in 2022. This is equal to an increase of just 0.76 percent.
  9. Venice: La Serenissima remains the fifth-most expensive city to buy property again this year as the average price will remain almost unchanged with a reduction of -0.3 percent, meaning the cost per square metre will be around 3,090 euros.
  10. Naples: The southern capital is set to go against the trend, with a -1.5 percent drop in house prices expected. This means the average price per square metre will go from 2,737 to 2,696 euros, a difference of 41 euros.

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For members


EXPLAINED: How much are house prices rising in Italy?

After uncertain forecasts, Italy has recorded the biggest jump in house prices for more than a decade. Here's how the property market is changing.

EXPLAINED: How much are house prices rising in Italy?

House prices in Italy rose by 3.8 percent on average in the last 12 months, according to data released by the national statistics institute Istat on Monday.

This was the biggest annual increase recorded since the House Price Index (IPAB) measuring changes in property prices in Italy was launched in 2010, Istat said.

READ ALSO: Where in Italy are house prices rising fastest?

The average price of new-build homes rose by 6.1 percent during that period, while existing properties recorded an increase of  3.4 percent.

This may not sound like a major change, particularly when compared to the steep price increases seen in countries such as the UK in recent years, but Italy’s property market has long been relatively stagnant.

Until the end of 2019, Italy had been one of the only countries in the European Union recording stagnation and decline in property prices.

This trend changed during the pandemic, as the first slight increase in house prices for years was recorded at the end of the first quarter of 2020

Despite the jump recorded in 2022, many years of falling or flatlining house prices have meant that overall since 2010 average prices have decreased by 9.5 percent overall. 

Italy’s house prices vary significiantly by region, city, and property type. Photo by Maksim Shutov on Unsplash

The low values of the large number of older properties on the market in Italy have long been the main factor weighing average values down.

Istat records show that, while the prices of new homes have risen by 14.2 percent since 2010, existing properties have seen their value fall by 17.1 percent.

Italy’s property market also shows strong regional variations: in 2022, price growth was particularly marked in northern Italy (+3.4 in the north-west and +4.2 in the north-east) and much lower in the centre (+1.9). The south and islands together recorded a small increase of just +0.6 percent.

IN MAPS: How Italy’s property prices vary by region

In all areas, price rises were seen for new build properties while older properties lost value.

At the start of the year, some experts cautiously predicted that house prices will continue to rise, albeit very modestly, in 2023.

But the president of Italy’s National Consumers’ Union, Massimiliano Dona, was less optimistic when commenting on Istat’s latest data

“Well, excellent news! It’s a positive fact that the value of Italian homes is growing. Unfortunately however, things are destined to get worse soon,” he said.

“The sudden rise in interest rates decided by the ECB, by driving up the cost of mortgages, will produce a drastic reduction in buying and selling volumes, which are already down, not surprisingly, by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 with negative consequences on house prices.”

See more in The Local’s property section.