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Italian crisis helps German property buyers

Published: 03 Nov 2012 08:36 GMT+01:00

Friday’s Die Welt newspaper suggested the economic crisis was turning Italy into a good option for German second-home bargain hunters. At the same time property prices in many regions of Germany have been rising as people seek safe investments.

A German expert in the market told the paper that Germans had often been frustrated when looking for a second home in the tiny German-speaking area of southern Tirol. By the time German buyers amassed a list of potential properties, they had been sold to Italians, the paper said.

The crisis has changed this, said Heinz Neuhauser, the director of the south Tirol estate managers association.

“Germans who are looking for a vacation home in southern Tirol no longer have to drop everything anymore and immediately cross the Brenner Pass to look at an interesting potential piece of property, said estate manager Stefan Hintner of Vettori Immobilien.

Waiting a bit is a good strategy, estate experts said. Prices have already dropped more than 20 percent, but economic forecasts say a further drop of seven percent is possible.

A two-room apartment in one area that sold for €230,000 in 2009 is now on the market for €170,000, for example.

A key reason is the recession that has hit Italy hard and that has translated into a strong drop in domestic demand in Italy. The country’s economic performance has declined by six percent since 2008 and is still moving lower. Unemployment, now at 10.7 percent, is expected to top 11 percent. More Italians are worried about losing their jobs and are therefore shelving any plans they had for a second home.

The increased vigilance of Italian tax authorities could also be playing a part – those seeking to hide untaxed money are more likely to park it abroad, in places like Switzerland rather than putting it into property at home.

The changing property picture has been to foreign buyers’ advantage and those in nearby Germany stand to gain, said property agent Neuhauser. “We’re seeing more demand from Germany,” he said.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:58 November 3, 2012 by smart2012
Pre-election Propaganda never ending in Germany. Two considerations not given:

A. Germans cannot even afford a first house, as prices in Germany are too high.

B. latest statistics show that key buyers in Italy are Chinese and Russian.

C. Go to Garda lake and you will see how many Germans go in B&B as they cannot even afford an hotel.

Germany's falling in recession is hidden, luckily German companies starting kurzarbeite cannot be hidden so long...
17:28 November 3, 2012 by Englishted
True very true smart2012
20:44 November 3, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
This is rubbish. Are the local on the payrole of the ministery of propaganda? The main buyers on the meditereanean are Russians, Scandinavians and some wealthy Chinese. Ask any real estate agent in the country. By far the top buyers are Russians. Germans have little spending power abroad in comparison.
06:29 November 4, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ smart2012

"B. latest statistics show that key buyers in Italy are Chinese and Russian" - can you please provide these statistics (or a link to them)? Thanks!
20:30 November 5, 2012 by chris berlin
haha, what kind of propaganda should this be? This is news for rich Germans for investments but the public gives a fxx about this.

smart2012 also named it propaganda that significantly more italians study german in italy... this is also no propaganda. Spaniards and Italians have become the biggest immigrant groups in my Berlin neighborhood... which is also reflected in my social relationships, most of them Spanish or Italian.

This would also not be a good propganda issue because then Germans get affraid that too many foreigners take away their jobs...

I see Germans as overly self-critical, also their media. Even during the last years and today the media are negativ instead of "glorifying" its situation as most other "proud" countries would do it. It is more those not from Germany who idealize it, not the native Germans. This also applies to me.
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