American and German buyers of Italian property have overtaken the Brits this year, as the Brexit vote nears, but UK interest is still strong.
Brits led the foreign charge for Italian homes in both 2014 and 2015, according to Gate-Away.com, but uncertainty surrounding the vote on 23rd June appears to be taking effect, with Germans and Americans overtaking their British rivals. In the first four months of 2016, enquiries from the USA rose 51.9 per cent, with both the United States and Germany accounting for 14.73 per cent and 13.51 per cent of searches on the portal – just ahead of third place UK (13.40 per cent).
Italian’s appeal to UK investors, though, is far from down and out: requests from the UK are still rising at a rate of 25.7 per cent, notes Gate-Away.com. Overall international requests for Italian property from around the world are up by 64.43 per cent.
“If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, all current agreements will have to be renegotiated. The conditions of all new agreements or all the treaties with Eurozone countries could also take two years to complete and this could also apply to new reciprocal agreements governing the buying and selling of property,” says Simone Rossi, director general of the site.
While Rossi says a Brexit would be “disadvantageous for both parties”, though, she notes that the appeal of Italy’s property is something more timeless than political relationships.
“When the British buy a second home in Italy the purchase is almost never simply a case of property investment but rather is driven by a passion for the ‘bel paese’,” she explains. “This affection is unlikely to be affected by the Brexit but one can readily surmise that the current increased caution on the part of the Brits can be attributed to uncertainties around the Referendum scheduled for 23rd June.”
Rossi predicts that repercussions regarding Italian taxation and property purchases would be “unlikely”, but that a Brexit might give rise to “additional, previously unnecessary bureaucratic processes, such as for example, applying for a visa or having private health insurance”.
“These will inevitably engender additional costs and a slowing down of the property acquisition process, as is already happening in other countries – for example, Turkey and South Africa – that hold particular attraction for the British,” Rossi continues. But Italy remains “one of the most ideal destinations” for British buyers, she adds.
Indeed, in April 2016, Italy rose one place in TheMoveChannel.com’s Top of the Props chart to become the sixth most popular country on the international portal.Google+