Can I still buy property in Italy after Brexit?

What is reciprocity?

Sovereign laws, set by individual countries, have always been applicable when it comes to property purchases – even prior to Brexit.

For example, when you buy property in England, the applicable law is that of England and Wales. When you buy property in Italy, you purchase according to the laws of Italy.

As members of the World Trade Organisation, both the UK and Italy signed up to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in 1995. Commitments made by the UK and Italy therefore allow UK and Italian nationals to purchase properties in each others’ countries. This is known as reciprocity so there are no barriers regarding market access or treatment of foreign purchasers.

Reciprocal commitments made within GATS, establish a quid pro quo principle

Essentially, you can invest in Italy so long as your home country allows Italian nationals to invest there.

The Italian Consulate in London recently analysed relevant legislation and consulted with UK authorities on the subject of reciprocity.  They have confirmed that the status of reciprocity for foreigners in the UK is, in principle, maintained following Brexit.

Therefore, ownership of real estate,  establishment of companies, the acceptance of inheritance or gifts are not conditional on citizenship.

However, purchasing property or setting up a company in the UK does not automatically confer the right to reside or work in the UK. The same is valid for UK nationals in Italy. If you want to reside or work in Italy, you will need to obtain an Elective Residence Visa and permits.

Finally …

For over 55 years, De Tullio Law Firm has been providing international clients with independent legal advice. We offer services in all the major fields of Italian law with particular expertise in real estate, residency, family law and inheritance matters. If you would like to discuss your Italian residency situation, please get in touch with us.

You may also be interested in How to get a mortgage in Italy.

New Biometric Residency Card for UK Nationals Living in Italy

The Italian Property Market And COVID. What Is The Outlook?

Three main impacts of COVID on the Italian property market but the outlook is optimistic

The Italian property market has taken a hit from the COVID health and economic crisis.

Wide-ranging central bank and government policies and stimulus packages are supporting the economy. As emergency restrictions ease, the outlook is optimistic.

The impact of COVID-19 on the Italian residential property market is threefold. Firstly, it creates a natural tendency to worry, making all but the most committed buyers more cautious in the short term. Secondly, on a practical front, travel restrictions have impinged on buyers’ and sellers’ ability to transact, as restrictions limit people’s ability to go about business as usual. Thirdly, the situation generates economic effects which impact the traditional drivers of affordability.

Prior to the COVID pandemic, Italy was experiencing a healthy upturn in its economy

The residential real estate sector particularly in the north of the country was showing a rise in demand for properties and residential construction was increasing.

The uncertainty surrounding the health situation and its duration have seen many would-be investors put their plans on hold. Data for online property listings show a fall in the number of Italian properties on the market. In addition, searches by potential buyers has decreased sharply.

Essentially, the impact of the pandemic on the economy and on property markets extends worldwide. It is not restricted to Italy. Provided that the situation continues to improve, we will likely see a negative effect in the short and medium-term on the real estate market in Italy. However, we expect to see that bounce back as vaccination continues apace and economic recovery gathers momentum.

The Italian luxury real estate sector reports decreased activity but it is far from paralysed

Initial information shows that luxury real estate is weathering the storm. Although they have slowed, transactions are continuing. It is too early to tell how the situation will evolve economically. However, it seems likely that investors will seek to protect their assets by focusing on safe securities such as luxury real estate. The perceived safe-haven of bricks-and-mortar investments in times of uncertainty helps to underpin values of high-end properties.

Experience from crises such as the recession in 2012, shows that once the most critical period passed, the Italian real estate sector gradually recovered.

Volatility in financial markets and low-interest rates continues. This means the real estate sector could again become a strong investment opportunity as we emerge from the COVID pandemic.

Italian property prices may fall before they rise

There is a general expectation that there will be a fall in property prices for a while. This would make Italy a buyers’ market. Thereafter, in the medium term, prices should increase to previous levels. This means sellers will need to be pragmatic on pricing in the short term, as demand becomes more dependent on needs-based and opportunistic buyers.

Having come through a global financial crisis in 2008, governments and central banks have a better understanding how to act in the face of uncertainty. Since then, they have moved quickly to implement measures to combat economic downturns. The approach of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) and the Bank of Italy’s monetary policy suggests that the low-interest-rate environment is likely to continue.

The Bank of Italy forecasts the Italian economy will grow by close to 5% in 2021. Based on the EU-harmonised index, consumer price inflation for 2021 will likely average 1.3% and 1.2% in 2022.

The Italian government has introduced stimulus packages to support property investments

During the pandemic, the Italian government quickly activated its wide-ranging fiscal easing measures in its, “Cura Italia” decree.

The government later announced a further stimulus package in its “Rilancia Italia” decree. Measures include property-related subsidies and tax benefits to support relaunch and investment in the Italian housing and construction sectors.

The combination of the central bank and government policies should support the economy through the current recession and what could otherwise have been a much stronger blow to economic growth. Furthermore, since the 2008 crisis, obtaining mortgage financing in Italy has become easier and this looks set to continue.

The pandemic has driven new ways of working

Many real estate agents and legal professionals took advantage of the pandemic lockdowns to plan how they will manage business in the future.

As restrictions lift, professionals have turned to technological innovation to serve clients. For example the use of using video calls. This could become the new normal.

At De Tullio Law Firm we have seen an increase in clients using our Power of Attorney services. This allows us to organise clients’ property sales and purchases remotely as well as manage many other property-related matters on our clients’ behalf.

Finally …

If you are thinking of investing in Italian property and would like to talk to us about any aspects mentioned in this article, please get in touch.

We are aware that the pandemic has left the signing of many Italian residential property transactions in the air. Many are worried that they may be in breach of contract. This is particularly relevant if there is no specific reference to a pandemic as a force majeure in their contracts. If you need a legal strategy session to discuss your situation, we are here for you.

Italian And Cross Border Legal Specialists. De Tullio Law Firm.

Expertise in Italian and cross border law

At De Tullio Law Firm we provide independent legal advice in all areas of the law. The majority of our work focuses on managing a wide range of Italian and cross border legal matters. We are specialists in property, family and inheritance law.

A passion for the law led us here

De Tullio Law Firm: Combined experience of 55 years

Giovanni De Tullio. Founding Partner at De Tullio Law Firm.

Giovanni De Tullio founded De Tullio Law Firm in 1965. In addition to being a lawyer, Giovanni was a notary (notaio) for over 30 years. As a result, Giovanni brings tremendous experience and knowledge of Italian legislation to the team. Whether clients are purchasing or selling a home, gifting a home to a child, making a will or incorporating a company in Italy, Giovanni’s understanding of the Italian State’s requirements is an invaluable resource.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Giandomenico De Tullio also became a lawyer.

Giandomenico De Tullio. Managing Partner.

After a decade working overseas at international legal firms, as well as at the European Commission, Giandomenico joined Giovanni at De Tullio Law Firm.

Aside from being a member of The Italian Bar Association, Giandomenico is also a full member of Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners. STEP is the world’s leading professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues.

Giandomenico is also an active representative in a number of not-for-profit government organisations whose aim is to develop and promote economic and cultural relations.

Right beside you

Because we have over 55 years of experience providing independent legal advice, we understand that property investments, or planning inheritance is not just a complex legal journey but also a personal one.

Our knowledge of Italian and cross border property, family and inheritance law gives us unique insights into the processes involved. We pride ourselves on giving each of our clients the individual care that their case deserves.

Thanks to the dedication of our lawyers, associates and professional staff, we offer an extraordinarily high level of service, responsiveness and attention to detail.

Our clients come from all over the world

Clients include both individuals and companies seeking legal advice, support and services. Our multi-lingual team serves clients throughout Italy.

Finally …

Thank you for visiting our website. We hope you find the information useful. If there is anything you would like us to cover in an article or, if you would like to discuss a legal matter with us, please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

De Tullio Law Firm at Your Overseas Home Property Seminar

Your Overseas Home Property events help people buy and move abroad safely

De Tullio Law Firm at Your Overseas Home Property SeminarProperty Guides and The Overseas Guides Company (OGC) regularly run free events to help people buy property and move abroad safely and risk-free.

Kim Brown founded OGC some 15 years ago. Kim’s parents had bought a home in Cyprus in 2004. However, without access to the right information and with some contacts who turned out to be untrustworthy, it sadly ended unhappily.

High -quality, carefully researched guidance

Seeing the impact on her parents, Kim was determined not to let this happen to anyone else – and so she set up OGC to provide high-quality, carefully researched guidance for anyone buying their dream home abroad.

Kim soon realised that in-depth information alone was just the first step.
“People also needed expert, trustworthy contacts to help them act on that information and turn their dream into reality. We now call these the ‘Golden Three’: your estate agent, your lawyer and your currency specialist”.

OGC has developed an extensive network of trustworthy experts across fourteen countries. They are all tried and tested to ensure the very best service.

Your Overseas Home Property Seminars started in 2017. Since then, a number of events have taken place around the UK. They have helped many people to buy safely overseas.

Expertise

Experts at the Your Overseas Home Property Seminar include leading Italian estate agents, currency, Italian law, finance and removals experts.

As well as seeing plenty of Italian homes at Your Overseas Home, you have the time and opportunity to discuss your personal requirements and get advice on all aspects of buying a property in Italy.

Finally …

De Tullio Law Firm regularly participates at The Your Overseas Home events. We have over 55 years of experience managing cross border property and inheritance matters throughout Italy. If you would like to discuss your personal situation but are unable to attend a Your Overseas Home event, why not get in touch with us today?

 

You may also be interested in our Guide To Buying Property in Italy.

De Tullio Law Firm in Fortune Italia Magazine

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”.

Finally… De Tullio Law Firm on Fortune Italia magazine

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

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