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Australia and Italy have shared a close connection for many years, with over 100 million Australians showing Italian descent in the 2021 census.¹ It’s therefore no surprise that Australians may be interested in purchasing property in Italy.
So, how do you go about buying property in Italy as an Australian? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the facts, including the process of purchasing homes in Italy and whether you can get a mortgage on an Italian property, plus as an overview of the property market in Italy as a whole.
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The good news is that Australians can buy property in Italy.²
There are no restrictions for foreigners who are looking to purchase a property in Italy, however, it is down to the Italian authorities in terms of verification in terms of criminal records and other details.²
The condition of reciprocity is essential when purchasing real estate in other countries.
Reciprocity means the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual gain — in terms of buying Italian property as an Australian, this means that Australian citizens are permitted to purchase property in Italy, provided that there is an international treaty that stipulates that Italians may also purchase property in Australia.²
As there is an international treaty in place, a reciprocity condition has been agreed — therefore Australians can purchase property in Italy and vice versa.
The property market in Italy is reported to be slowing down but stable, a reassuring thought if you’re an Australian looking to purchase an Italian property in the near future.
In the first three quarters of 2022, property prices increased by 3% when compared to the same period in 2021. In terms of predictions for the coming year and beyond, more price increases are expected, however, on a smaller scale, with global analyst Fitch Ratings predicting price growth of between 0.5% and 1% throughout 2023 and into 2024.³
Prices are continuing to increase due to the limited supply of homes in Italy when compared with rising demand, however, demand is unlikely to overrule the negative effects associated with predicted rises in inflation and interest rates, which will continue to slow the rise of property prices.³
Property prices vary in Italy depending on region and proximity to the city center. Prices can be as low as €1,241.00 per sq.m in southern regions of Italy such as Catania, and as high as €8,849.00 per sq.m in popular Northern cities such as Milan.
Here’s a brief guide to average property prices per sq.m in some popular Italian cities⁴:
|Area||Price per sq.m - apartment in city center||Price per sq.m - apartment outside city center|
As seen on April 5th 2023
There are several ways you can find a property to buy in Italy. A popular route is via an Italian online property agency, including one of the following:
There will also be property agents located in Australia that work with agents in Italy to find you the best properties remotely. These agents often speak multiple languages, making the buying process easier.
There are a few factors you’ll want to consider when purchasing a property in Italy. We’ve detailed the most important ones below.
Where you want to live is one of the more important aspects of purchasing a property in Italy. Italy is a large country and property prices will vary depending on where you decide to settle.
We recommend checking out the price table we detailed earlier in this article to establish the best area for you in terms of price. You should also carry out some research on the different regions of Italy, as each offers its own features and benefits.
Next, you’ll want to consider property type. There are many different property types in Italy depending on the region and proximity to the city center, with detached villas available in more rural areas and apartments being more apparent in bigger cities.
Property types vary considerably when it comes to the number of bedrooms, space, and potential land accompanying a property. Decide what type of property you’d prefer and the size before you make any concrete offers.
Another super important factor is the condition or the property. A house may seem like it’s very affordable, however, a property survey may reveal that significant work needs to be carried out for the property to be livable.
Make sure to instruct a thorough survey on a property before giving the green light, and keep a close eye out for potential problems that may arise from the following:
- Property structure
- Presence of asbestos/lead
Non-Italian residents are able to get a mortgage in Italy in order to purchase a property.⁵
Most Italian mortgages last in the region of 5 - 30 years, for sums of no less than €50,000. Typically mortgages will not cover 100% of the property price, and maximum mortgages are generally for 70%/80% of the purchase cost.⁵
You will be required to show several documents as an Australian buying a property in Italy, including the following²:
- Sale-purchase agreement
- Title deed
- Cadastral documents
- Building permits
- Energy certificates
Speak to a lawyer/legal professional if you’re unsure of any of these.
Legal requirements for purchasing a property in Italy as an Australian are fairly simple.
As mentioned previously, a condition of reciprocity is vital when purchasing property in Italy. You’ll also need to ensure you have enough money for a deposit, as well as a signed contract before the purchase will be considered complete.²
You should also consider appointing a translator if you’re not fluent in Italian.
Taxes and fees levied on property purchases in Italy generally include the following⁵:
- Mortgage application fees
- Surveyor fees
- Mortgage taxes
- Insurance/translation fees (if necessary)
Here are the steps involved in purchasing a house in Italy²:
- Search for a property — it’s recommended that this is done with the assistance of an experienced property agent
- Property survey — do your due diligence by instructing a property surveyor to ensure your chosen property has no hidden surprises
- Prepare legal documents — instruct lawyers to prepare legal documentation including title deeds, cadastral documents, sale-purchase agreements, building permits, and energy certificates
- Place deposit — only submit the deposit once all documents are accepted and contracts are signed
- Sign title deed — this document is signed by the seller and purchaser as witnessed by the public notary
- Register property — once the contracts have been signed, the property will have to be registered with the Italian land registry.
Buying a property abroad may seem daunting due to the risk of scams. Here are a few tips to avoid being scammed when purchasing a property in Italy:
- View property before purchasing — this is very important, as properties may not be accurately depicted in photos alone.
- Ensure the property seller is legitimate — your lawyers should handle this, but let them know that you’re keen to make sure the property seller is checked out and all relevant names/titles are used on legal documents.
- Don’t place any funds until legal contracts are signed — make sure you don’t pay a penny until contracts have been signed by all parties; this way you’re safe knowing that the purchase is guaranteed before you place funds
Sending large amounts of money can be frightening and the fees add up fast — but not with the Wise large money transfer service.
Wise is a specialist in sending large amounts overseas, securely. The added bonus is that with a sliding fee scale, the more you send, the more you save. The exchange rate is always based on the mid-market rate, like the one you’d see on Google.
Safety is super important at Wise and it’s regulated wherever it operates. In Australia, it is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL number 513764). On top of this, Wise has dedicated compliance teams and systems working around the clock to keep our customers’ money safe.
You’ll need to keep in mind how much your receiving bank will accept in one transaction, check with them first before making the transfer.
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|This article is purely for general information purposes and is not to be taken as financial advice. We recommend that you obtain independent financial advice before making any form of investment.|
- Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade — Italy Country Brief
- Lawyers Italy — Purchasing a Property in Italy
- Italy Property Guides — Italy Property Market Outlook for 2023
- Numbeo — Property Prices in Italy
- Italy Law Firms — Mortgages to buy a property in Italy
Sources checked on: 04/04/2023/ and 05/04/2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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