Florence, Italy, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy Photo: Nadio
The website VendereAiCinesi.it, which literally translates to “sell to the Chinese”, offers a direct portal to Chinese buyers for Italian agents and homeowners, reports Property Showrooms.
The site (which lists approximately 18,000 items) launches as China continues to play an increasingly important role in overseas property. Individuals are increasingly keen to look abroad for better living conditions and financial security, while institutional investment in property overseas increased 17 per cent in the first half of 2014, according to JLL.
There are currently listed on the website including coffee shops, ice cream stores, cars and property.
But are they looking at Italy? The Annual Report on Chinese International Migration 2014 by the Center for China and Globalization and the Social Sciences Academic Press highlights Australia and Canada are at the top of their wish list, with the US also extremely popular following the closure of Canada’s visa scheme. Europe, though, is also sought after by a growing number, attracted by the Golden Visa programmes there.
Indeed, according to Chinese portal Juwai.com, both Portugal and Spain are in the 10 most-searched destinations, alongside the UK. (The top 10 also contains the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.) Two countries from Europe fell off the list in the first half of 2014, though: Germany and Italy.
“More Chinese are looking in Italy than a year ago, Juwai.com Co-CEO Andrew Taylor told Forbes, “but it doesn’t have the same momentum because of their economic doldrums and the lack of attractive new product.”
Nonetheless, demand for Italian property has improved in the past 12 months. On TheMoveChannel.com, Italy climbed to become one of the five most popular countries in September 2014 for the fourth time since January.
Where is interesting coming from? Knight Frank’s Italian team reveals that there is rising interest for both commercial and residential property from China and other Asian markets. At the same time, though, the majority of activity is being driven by American and British buyers, who are both returning to the country’s market, as the single currency’s weakness spells strong opportunities against the dollar and pound.
“Italy continues to face challenging market conditions with Europe again coming under the spotlight recently over its muted economic growth and with some of Italy’s banks faring badly in the latest stress tests. However, the food and culture, the wine and architecture and la dolce vita remains a permanent feature and continues to draw buyers wanting a slice of Italian life,” explains Rupert Fawcett, a Partner in the agency’s Italian team.
“Buying in Italy is primarily a lifestyle choice not driven by short term investment, but longer term enjoyment, and these factors continue to allow the market a certain level of resilience.”
Fawcett highlights Rome, Venice, Milan and Florence as the main focus of rising interest, although price increased are expected to remain stable. French buyers dominate enquiries in Venice, while Brits are most active in Tuscany and Florence, Umbria, Rome, Sardinia and the Italian Lakes. Russian demand is strongest in Liguria.
“Milan will host the next Universal Exposition next year between May and October,” adds Fawcett, “and the consensus is that this will generate increased investor interest in the country as buyers perceive better value.”
Source: The Movechannel