Buying in Milan
A rival to Rome when it comes to culture, trade and property, Italy’s financial capital is a city for the stylish and business savvy.
After five years of continuous decline, Italian house prices are projected to register a minimal growth of 0,9 per cent in 2016 and two per cent in 2017, according to Italian research house Nomisma. Along with Rome and Venice, Milan is the most expensive city in Italy, with houses priced above €3 000 per square metre, according to Nomisma.
How to buy
Italy allows foreigners – who are bound by the same laws and duties as Italian citizens – to invest in local property. Once you’ve identified your dream home, a purchase contract (compromesso) needs to be drafted and a deposit (caparra confirmatoria) paid.
Signature of title deeds in Italy is carried out in front of a notary public. ‘This must be done in Italy but it’s possible to grant a power of attorney to somebody else who can sign on your behalf,’ says Peter Esders of Judicare Legal Services in the UK.
You will also need a tax code (codice fiscale), and taxes vary depending on whether you’re buying a resale or a new property, the value of the property, and whether the property will be your permanent residence or not, according to Esders. ‘You’re required to name a fiscal representative who will act as your liaison with the tax authorities,’ he adds.
‘If the buyer pulls out after signing, he would normally lose his deposit; should the seller default, he would be obliged to pay back the buyer double his deposit,’ Esders says.
Where to buy
In the city centre, you can’t go wrong with an exclusive apartment in one of the numerous Liberty-style palazzos, either by the Duomo (cathedral) or in the quadrilatero d’oro (golden triangle), which boasts a concentration of high-fashion boutiques and famous bars frequented by the celebrity jet-set. Navigli is a romantic, traditional area largely free of the urban bustle, while Brera with its narrow cobblestone streets has a village-like feel.
What to pay
€8 055 per square metre for an apartment in the city centre and €3 183 per square metre for one outside the city centre, according to the Numbeo.com cost-of-living guide.
- Anglo Info Milan (expat network): milan.angloinfo.com
- Italian Embassy in South Africa: ambpretoria.esteri.it
- Knight Frank Italy: knightfrank.it
- Sotheby’s International Realty (Milan): milan-sothebysrealty.com
- Nomisma: nomisma.it
- Judicare Legal Services: judicaregroup.com
Text: Jocelyn Warrington