A World Apart
In the April 2019 edition of Fortune Italia Magazine, we contributed to a discussion about the state of the luxury real estate market in Italy.
The luxury real estate market in Italy is booming – indifferent to market fluctuations. Who buys luxury properties and furnishings?
Italy’s luxury property market is particularly healthy. Compared to the same period in 2017, the first half of 2018 saw an increase of 26.73% in real estate transactions in excess of 900 thousand euros. Real estate of more than one million euros saw 1,028 properties sold compared to 865 in the previous year. This represents an increase of 18.84%.
Italy’s Luxury real estate market sector “is less exposed than other property segments to economic conditions. The uniqueness of the Italian offer, which is inextricably linked to our architectural, landscape and cultural heritage, represents a strong element of attraction”, says Giandomenico De Tullio, Managing Partner at De Tullio Law Firm. The company provides legal services in the Italian luxury real estate market – mainly serving US and UK clients.
Specialists for cross border property law throughout Italy
Generally, we are talking about properties that mainly appeal to international clients, which De Tullio calls, ‘High Net Worth Individuals’. ” This is a clientele with high expectations that demand high levels of competence and professionalism”.
Choosing a property
In the main, investors are foreign so they often need a guide. Perhaps they don’t know Italy very well, or are unfamiliar with the dynamics of its real estate market.
Lionard, is one of the most important players at national level in the luxury real estate sector. The company is involved in the buying and selling process. They have a real estate portfolio of 13.32 billion euros. The average value of real estate for sale is 5.01 million euros.
Lionard has bases in Florence, Milan and – soon – Rome.
The company currently represents 51% of Italian properties with a value of more than 3 million euros. “The real estate market historically follows the macro-economic trend of the world’s major markets,” says Ian Heath, real estate advisor at Lionard. “For this reason, the sector has also faced and suffered from the economic crisis over the past decade. However, the luxury real estate segment, in terms of the type of clientele and internationality of the audience it addresses, is able to offer growth beyond what is happening on a local economic level”.
A growth that Lionard capitalises on with satisfactory results. “In terms of real estate portfolio, we are the first real estate operator to have over 2,500 properties offered for sale directly by owners. With regards to the company’s balance sheet, we were the first among Italian luxury sector real estate operators, to achieve a turnover of over 9 million euros with an EBITDA of over 60%”. In 2018 alone, Lionard properties valued at 106.5 million euros changed hands.
Of course, to impact such a market, the right tools are a pre-requisite. In addition to the professionals who make up the team, “the pearl of the company is undoubtedly our management system. This is the primary national resource in terms of the luxury market in Italy”, says Heath. “We cross-reference the most in demand areas and the most desired types of property with current data. This provides our target audience with a survey of more than 45,000 properties nationwide. More than 2,500 of these are officially for sale. This helps the customer to form an independent idea of all the options available”.
The right decor
Once you have purchased a luxury home, you need equally luxurious furnishings. Pasquale Natuzzi Junior Says, “high-spending clientele is undoubtedly different. It is a group of consumers for whom it is necessary to transform the purchase into a unique experience.” Pasquale is creative director and stylist at Natuzzi.
The business started life in Puglia in the ’60s. It has since become one of the few Italian companies listed on Wall Street. Natuzzi totalled 449.6 million euros of turnover in 2017 and is present in 123 markets worldwide. Pasquale Natuzzi Senior, who is still company president, founded the company.
Natuzzi enjoys recognition as the “most famous lifestyle brand in the world in the premium furniture sector”.
And, according to Pasquale Junior has built its success, “thanks to our identity, our style and our product offering”.
In addition, the luxury consumer scene appreciates, “dealing with contexts where quality of service is everything. This is especially relevant in our sector, where cooperation with customers can continue for several months. It is important to offer an experience that goes beyond a simple visit to the store: it is a relational investment that requires time, trust and competence”.
Harnessing this market sector naturally requires special business skills, which enable, “the customer to entrust the whole process to the company”. The shop team, according to the creative director, “is engaged in customer projects that can last well over six months”.
Success depends on the ability to transmit to the customer a dedication and professionalism, taking care of every aspect of the project. An approach that is only possible, “thanks to the continuous training and development of our sales staff, evolution of our collections and investments in our points of sale. In our stores we have reliable, well-prepared professionals, with a solid background in the design sector, perfectly able to interact with our clients, an architect or an interior designer. For highly sensitive projects, we also involve other professionals (colour experts, technicians specialised in 3D modelling, 3D, designers). Experts who can provide further support at the definition phase of a project”.
Please, contact De Tullio Law Firm for a free preliminary consultation if you would like to discuss your property purchase or you would like further information about our services.
For over 55 years, we have been providing legal services to clients at an international and local level, gaining a strong reputation for quality, expertise, and professionalism.
You may also be interested in Buying Property in Italy