• Healthy demand and competitive prices provides good rental and investment opportunities
• Re-development of the old port area offers new luxurious apartments with sea views
• Beautifully renovated apartments in the city’s 16th century palaces start at 1m EUR
Wander through the old town’s maze of tiny, narrow cobbled streets and soak up the buzz of designer boutiques, old fashioned restaurants and traditional bars and then enjoy a chilled glass of local white wine; while away a relaxing morning sunbathing on the terrace of your luxury penthouse with splendid views of the sea before wandering down to the old port to spend an afternoon wandering around the Mediterranean’s largest Maritime museum; treat yourself to a boat trip around the beautiful rocky coastline before coming into town to take an evening stroll along the harbour waterfront and feast on a delicious dinner of thin black pasta served with slices of tender cuttlefish and tomatoes. Located on the Italian Ligurian coast just east of the French Riviera and blessed with warm, fresh summers yielding to mild and bright winters, there is an excellent range of Genoa property for sale offering investors the opportunity to become part of this vibrant and cosmopolitan maritime city.
Founded in 6th century B.C. by Phoenician and Etruscan sailors due to its good location as a natural port, Genoa has a rich and varied history. In the 12th century Genoa’s trade in the Mediterranean Sea expanded rapidly and the city became a commercial hub for luxury goods coming from the East and from Flanders with Genoese bankers being key players in Europe’s economy. The defeat of both Pisa and Venice transformed Genoa into one of the most powerful cities in Europe. The end of the 15th century was a time of great artistic change in Genoa; many artists arrived from both Tuscany and Lombardy to create their masterpieces here and of course it was also the home of the most famous Genoese son - Christopher Columbus - who later went on to discover America. Genoa was then ruled successively by the Spanish and then the French until the unification of Italy but despite remaining an important seaport, Genoa’s moment of glory was past, lost to new trade routes and powers vested in the New World. The city suffered mixed fortunes in the 20th century; bombed by the British Navy during the Second World War it then enjoyed an industrial boom in the 1960s followed by a period of economic stagnation and decline.
However since hosting Expo 1992 and being chosen as a European City of Culture in 2004, Genoa has undergone some radical makeovers and there is now a lot to do and see.
The old town has had its own organic revitalisation with a bright new crop of fashionable shops, restaurants and bars lighting the way. The city’s once-tatty port area has benefited greatly from its extensive renovation in 1992 with many new shops and restaurants, an aquarium and the 117m high Lanterna lighthouse. It is also the home of Genoa’s Maritime Museum (Galata Museo del Mare) which is the largest in the Mediterranean and extends over four floors in a redeveloped 17th-century dock building. The extensive waterfront is now a popular place to take an evening stroll or linger over a good meal or drink in one of the many charming restaurants or bars that line the way.
Property prices in Italy have been declining for more than seven years and in Genoa property prices fell by 11.6% in 2016. Demand for Genoa property remains healthy and property sales continue to rise, although prices are down by at least half on similar properties in Rome or Milan. However the rental market along the Ligurian coast is good for high quality property as there is less competition and price cutting than across the border in the South of France.
There is a wide range of Genoa property for sale to suit all tastes and budgets ranging from modern apartments down by the harbour to traditional town houses hidden away in the centre of the city.
The old world charm of Italy can still be found in Genoa's maze-like streets that twirl out from the Piazza San Lorenzo, with numerous old apartments and grand homes being in surprisingly good shape. Apartments can be found starting at around 200,000 EUR for a two bedroom apartment going up to around 400,000 EUR for a light and airy six bedroom apartment. At the top end of the market you can find a 3 bedroom apartment in a 16th century palace in the heart of the city for 1.1m EUR complete with high ceilings decorated in relief with gold leaf and original fireplaces. Or how about 5 bedroom modern penthouse with terraces offering panoramic views of the city for 2.6m EUR?
Down by the old port there are a number of redevelopments offering modern apartments in old buildings, where for example a 3 bedroom apartment with marble and wooden parquet floors and a view of the harbour would cost in the region of 370,000 EUR.
Genoa property provides investors with the perfect opportunity to buy a property in on the Italian Riviera and enjoy a lifestyle embracing friendly people, fabulous local wine and food and of course a wonderful climate. Whether you decide to buy modern apartment down by the harbour or a luxury ‘palazzo’ in the historic city centre, Genoa makes a perfect holiday and investment destination.
Guide to the Italian Buying Process
1. Making the Offer to Purchase (Offerta)
Once you have found the property you wish to purchase you will start the process by making a formal offer to the vendor, the estate agent will act on your behalf and put forward the offer, a deposit will be made available, generally around (10,000 - 20,000 EUR). Once the vendor has accepted the offer it will be formalised in writing to the vendor in both English and Italian. If this is accepted the deposit (Caparra Confirmatoria) will be paid to the vendor. This will form a legally binding contract. Neither party may withdraw at this point, the sale can be forced by either party or a claim for damages can be made. If the purchaser withdraws their deposit will be lost, if the vendor withdraws the purchaser can claim twice the deposit in compensation.
2. Signing the Preliminary Contract (Compromesso or Contratto preliminare)
The next step will take place between 1 and 3 months after the offer has been accepted, this is a formal agreement between the vendor and purchaser to sell and buy the property, this agreement is the Preliminary Contract and will contain the conditions and terms of the sale. It is important at this stage that you have a full understanding of all the details contained in the contract. We would strongly recommend that you appoint a Notary who is fluent in English. This document will include the purchase price, a detailed description of the property including completion date and will cover any obligations placed upon the buyer and the vendor. All information relating to the property including any planning permissions for the property and the cadastral details (a public record, survey, or map of the value, extent, and ownership of land as a basis of taxation). Once the Preliminary Contract (Contratto preliminare) has been signed a further deposit (Caparra Confirmatoria) will be paid, this will generally be 10% - 20% of the purchase price. There will also be an estate agents Commission Fee (Provvigione) which will need to be paid at this point.
3. Signing the Final Deed of Sale (Rogito or Atto Notarile)
The purchaser must have a bank account in order to make the purchase on completion. The signing of the final deed of sale which will authorise the transfer of the property must be overseen by a Notary (Notaio). The buyer will select and hire the Notary, but they are members of an independent body of public/professionals who will draft the purchase deed, they will oversee the passing of the title legally from the vendor to the purchaser. The Notary will also verify the legality of the documentation and registration with the Conservatoria dei Registri Immobiliari and the Local Land Register.
4. Formalities to be observed after Completion
Foreign buyers should obtain a certified copy of the Purchase Deed (Rogito), which the Notary will have lodged with the authorities. Generally this will be available to collect around 2 – 3 weeks after completion. The Notary will also give you a form to complete for the the local authority (Questura) who will have been given formal notice of the purchase. Your Notary will help you to complete this form. You will need to contact the utilities companies to set up new contracts (power, water, telephone, gas etc.). If the property is a flat, the condominium manager (Amministratore del condominio) should be informed of change of ownership of the property.
Various taxes must be paid on purchases. Registration tax / stamp duty (Imposta di Registro) is calculated on the government’s valuation of the property (Valore catastale). This will vary according to whether the property is being purchased as a holiday home, or as your primary residence. For a holiday home stamp duty will be 10% of the valuation. If you are intending to use the property as your primary residence and apply for residency (Prima casa), providing this is done within 18 months of the property transfer then stamp duty will be reduced to 3% for an existing property and 4% for a new build. This will be paid to the Notary on completion of the purchase.
Land registration, mortgage and cadastral taxes also need to be paid to the Notary on completion. These are one-off payments and are around €168 each.
Once the property has been purchased further taxes must be paid. There is a local council tax ICI/IMU property tax (Imposta Comunale sugli Immobili) of 0.4% to 0.9% of the property’s cadastral value. The rate for this is calculated annually by the council and paid bi-annually in June and December. This rate will be reduced if the property is the primary residence (Prima Casa).
If you are not resident in Italy you will have to declare any income gained from activities in Italy to the Italian Tax authorities. This income will also have to be declared in your country of residence, you will need a double taxation agreement to mitigate against paying twice. This declaration will apply to any income you might obtain from letting a property in Italy. Some expenses incurred on the property may be off-set against the income you derive from letting out the property. This can include management expenses, local taxes, repairs etc.
There is one tax which applies only to holiday homes, there will be a 20% Capital Gain on the difference between the buying price and the selling price if the property is sold prior to 5 years ownership.
IMPORTANT - Disclaimer :
All information provided is believed to be current and provided free of charge. No liability can be accepted for the reliability of the information and statements made as this is obtained from 3rd parties. We always recommend you take legal advice from a fully qualified Lawyer or Notary before buying a property overseas.
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