In a country that has traditionally enjoyed one of the higher rates of property ownership in Europe, signs on the ground are of a slow but certain turnaround in fortunes.
The Italian property market is in the middle of an unresolved national economic crisis which in turn, finds itself in the middle of a wider unresolved European economic crisis.
On the plus side, properties for sale in Italy represent opportunity for good value and modest but convincing prospects of growth and it is the foreign sector that is finding itself irresistibly drawn towards the bel paese once more.
Property for sale in Italy has not undergone a collapse in prices, such as that suffered in parts of Spain, Greece and Ireland. National statistics from FIMAA (the Italian Real Estate Federation) bear this out with property values having fallen by 22% since their peak in 2007/2008. Italian property statistics can be notoriously ambiguous but it seems that the areas that have suffered the most in terms of prices reductions are in the central provinces and the "art" cities (Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa), with the southern regions taking the softest hit in terms of price values over the last six years or so. This trend is consistent with the modest price drops recorded over the last 12 months.
In the context of the current economic forecasts of modest recovery over the next few years, many analysts agree that property values are unlikely to drop much further and the official predictions are that prices will show a very slight increase in value (of the order of 0.2%) in 2014.
Another significant bridgehead in the charge towards tangible recovery is to be found in the commercial sector. In 2013, some 79% of all commercial property transactions were from outside the state, in a year that saw the busiest year for commercial property purchasing since 2007.