Milan Expo awakens appetite for Italian property

The Universal Exposition is one of the most important global events for bringing countries together to share knowledge, innovation and traditions. Without the Universal Expo, Paris would not have the Eiffel Tower. Seattle would not have the Space Needle.

Today, the event still maintains its focus on technological advancement, but with a more humanitarian bent. Expo Milano 2015, which is being hosted by the Italian city until 31st October, is focused on the use of technology and innovation to provide safe, healthy, sufficient food for the world’s entire population.

Italy is the natural choice for hosting such an important food-focused event, argues Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs founder of Le Marche-based luxury fractional ownership business Appassionata.

“People think of Italy’s food and picture the ultimate feast of pizza, pasta and ice cream. While Italy does offer all of these, there is such huge diversity across the country in terms of other dishes that you really have to immerse yourself in it in order to discover everything,” she says. “Even after living here for years, I am still discovering incredible new recipes that use traditional techniques to make simple, fresh ingredients just come alive with flavour.”

Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life expects to welcome more than 20 million visitors from over 140 countries over the six months that it is running. Indeed, Berlin-based travel site has seen search and bookings to Milan by UK travellers rise 180 per cent, with 930,000 Brits visiting as a direct result of the expo.

Hotel occupancy is expected to be at 98 per cent throughout the season, with an increase of 33 per cent on flight prices to Milan.

Some investors are taking advantage of that demand by renting homes out too, notes Sotheby’s International Realty. Speaking to OPP.Today , the agent reveals that price falls in the city of up to 30 per cent in the last year have boosted Milan’s rental market by 10 per cent, with British, Belgian and American investors attracted by yields potentially 50 per cent higher than normal.

Diego Meani, Sales Manager at Milan Sotheby’s International Realty, also expects a positive impact upon buyers’ appetites in the longer term.

“We have already seen a 10 per cent increase in rental enquiries since the start of EXPO 2015 and this positive impact on the market will continue throughout the event. There is also a positive outlook for how the EXPO will affect the sales market and we are expecting high levels of interest from foreign buyers from Switzerland, Belgium, America and the UK in particular throughout the event,” he comments.