Property tax removal signals “encouraging” future for Italy

Photo credit: Nfranano

Indeed, after a long period of indecision, which saw the tax temporarily suspended after the previous government reinstated it, Letta announced that primary residences would no longer be taxed.  The move eased political tension within the country’s coalition government and ended uncertainty among homeowners and estate agents.

“There is a great deal of relief, especially amongst “first home” owners,” Filippo Zeni, co-founder and broker at i-RES, tells TheMoveChannel.com.

“The IMU, however, stays on second houses and commercial properties and will probably be changed into a proper “service tax”, a bit like the UK’s council tax, in 2014,” he continues. “But that is all to be seen.”

European authorities followed Letta’s announcement with a reminder that the country still need to meet its fiscal commitments.

“The essential thing was that Prime Minister (Enrico) Letta reconfirmed that Italy will stick to its fiscal targets in line with its European commitments. That’s important,” Oli Rehn told members of the press .

Since then, positive economic signs have started to emerge, as Italy’s Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni announced this month that Italy was gradually exiting its longest recession since the war: “Fiscal data confirms that the recovery is in progress, so in this way we are coming out of the recession phase while still carrying our structural weaknesses,” he said in a press conference .

Estate agents are also enjoying the current state of the market.

“We are noticing a steady number of  foreign investors searching for properties in Italy,” Zeni continues, noting that new locations are now being added to the traditional buyer favourites of Tuscany, the Lakes and Umbria.

“In particular, Veneto, Lake Garda and Piemonte have seen a steady increase,” he adds, “thanks to their better value for money, especially when it comes to land prices.”

Trentino-Sudtirol is also seeing demand rise thanks to its tourist appeal and “green housing” concept.

Buyers are coming from a range of countries, he says, highlighting a rising number of non-EU nationalities.

“Asian investors are pouring a considerable amount of money into commercial properties (hotels above all)”, while Russians are “a steady presence, growing in numbers second only to the Australian market.”

The tax may remain on second homes, but the relief of a definite decision on the levy seems to have translated overseas as well as at home.

“Overall, there is confidence that, after a sloppy summer awaiting positive news on property tax, the next few months are certainly looking encouraging.”

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