Tempted by Tuscany

Article courtesy of Rachel Newcombe
As published by Living Abroad
Date: July 2008

If there’s one part of the world that has eternal appeal for investors, it’s Tuscany, home to rolling hills, romantic scenery and surprisingly affordable property, says Rachel Newcombe

Although often regarded as an area where property prices are high, it’s still possible to find some gorgeous properties within your budget.

Tuscany is one of the most popular areas of Italy and, with its olive groves, vineyards and miles of green countryside, it’s easy to understand why. In 2006, Tuscany experienced a record year for tourism, when regional tourist numbers rose by 7.6%. Forecasts suggest that the tourism industry in Tuscany will be worth €30 billion by 2016 and residential property prices are anticipated to double in value.

There are many tempting properties to be discovered within the area, including numerous buildings with a strong historic and traditional Italian background, but new developments and sympathetic restoration projects are on the up too. In the past, Italy tended to be regarded as a country where older buyers headed, but it seems that it’s becoming of interest to younger generations too.

“It used to be mostly the over 50s who bought in Italy,” says a leading estate agent, “But things have noticeably changed in the last five years and we’re seeing much younger people choosing to leave the UK and live in Italy. This has been further enhanced with an increase of budget and scheduled airlines to Italy from many UK destinations.”

The main airports offering easy access to Tuscany are Pisa, which has regular services and many budget airline options, and Florence. Italy is easily reached from the UK within three hours, making it the ideal location for a weekend or holiday home, as you don’t need to travel for hours on end to reach your destination.

If you’re considering buying a property with a view to renting it out all or part of the year, then rental opportunities in this area are good, as it continues to be very popular with tourists. As a guide to how much you could achieve with a rental property, Trinidad Passerini, managing director of Precious Villas, says, “In the peak season, apartments in areas such as Lucca generate in excess of £1,000 rent per week.”

According to Caterina Grande, Tuscany is becoming a popular area with Spanish tourists. “I’ve seen a lot of Spanish tourists coming here and they’re keen on rental property. There’s a definite demand from Spanish and Portuguese tourists.” There’s also a lot of interest in rental opportunities from other Brits, Irish and Americans, who flock to experience Italian life, country and cuisine during the summer months.

Back to About Propertyline International