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Real estate investment in Italy

Foreigners can buy, sell and rent out real estate without restrictions in Italy.

Statistics confirm the liquidity of investments: the price of residential real estate grows every quarter by an average of 1%. Five years ago, an apartment of 100 m² cost an average of €290,000, and today it is sold for €309,000.

3090 € Average price per 1 m²
of housing in Italy
1% Average price per 1 m²
increase per quarter
9—33% Buyers’ related expenses,
of the transaction amount

Cost of a 3-bedroom apartment in Italy

€2.5 million

Apartment in the historic centre of Milan

€1.5 million

Apartment in a 10-minute drive
from the Milan Cathedral

€400,000

Apartment in Genoa, Turin

What do investors buy?

The most expensive real estate is in the Italian Alps on the border with Austria, Milan, Rome, and the northwest coast.

Apartments

  • penthouses and attic apartments
  • duplexes
  • apartments

Houses

  • townhouses and mansions
  • villas
  • historical villas

Italy residence permit or citizenship by real estate investment

Obtaining an Italy residence permit and citizenship is not connected with purchasing real estate. Italy has a program for getting a residence permit by investing in the country’s economy. The investment amount ranges between €500,000 and €2,000,000. There is no option for investing in real estate.

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Taxes and associated costs

Purchase
Ownership
Sale

Property buyers pay a value-added tax for new builds or a registration tax for resale properties and additional fees.

The associated costs will range between 9% and 33% of the sale and purchase agreement value. When buying a resale apartment worth €500,000, a non-resident investor will spend €552,100, including additional costs.

9—33% Of the contract value are related costs for the purchase of housing in Italy
Purchase expenses
New buildings

VAT

4—22%

Depends on the property status: primary residence, second home, luxury housing

Resale properties

Registration tax

3—7%

Depends on the property status: primary or secondary home, and the buyer’s status: resident or non-resident

Notary fee
1.2—3%

Depends on the transaction amount, VAT included

Registration fee
1%
Legal support of the transaction
1.2—2.4%

VAT included

Agency fee
2—5%

Depends on the agency, VAT included

Taxes

Property owners pay an annual tax of 0.4% to 0.76% of the cadastral value.

Rental income is included in the income tax base. The income tax rate is progressive from 23% to 43%.

€1,920 Approximate annual costs for maintenance of an apartment

Communal payments

Electricity, gas, water, heating, and garbage collection
€100—280 

per month

Internet, TV and telephone
€25—40 

per month

If the seller has owned a property for less than five years, they pay a capital gains tax. The income tax base includes the difference between the sale and purchase prices. The income tax rate is progressive from 23% to 43%.

The agency fee ranges from 2% to 5%.

0—43% Capital gains tax on the sale
of real estate in Italy
Expenses on the sale
Capital gains tax

Paid on the difference between the purchase and sale prices

0—43%
Agency fee
2—5%

VAT included

Frequently asked questions

Can a foreigner buy a house in Italy?

Yes. All foreigners are allowed to buy real estate in Italy. There are also no restrictions on the sale and rental of real estate, either.

Is Italy a good place to buy real estate?

Yes. Real estate properties in Italy are liquid assets. the price of residential real estate is growing every quarter by an average of 1%. Five years ago, an apartment of 100 m² was worth an average of €290,000, and today it can be sold for €309,000.

Foreigners in Italy can also freely buy, sell, and rent out real estate.

How much is real estate tax in Italy?

Buyers of real estate in Italy pay value-added tax for new buildings or registration tax for secondary real estate and additional fees. The associated costs will be from 9% to 33% of the contract’s value.

Property owners pay an annual ownership tax — from 0,4% to 0,76% of the cadastral value.

Sellers of real estate pay capital gains tax on a progressive scale from 0 to 43%.

Do you get citizenship if you buy a house in Italy?

No. Italian citizenship cannot be obtained by investment. But foreigners can partake in the Italy residence permit program first. After 10 years of permanent residence in the country, they can get Italian citizenship by naturalization on a general basis.

To get a residence permit in Italy, investors can choose one of four options:

  • from €250,000 — investments in innovative startups;
  • from €500,000 — investments in the authorized capital of Italian companies;
  • from €1,000,000 — investments in socially significant projects;
  • from €2,000,000 — purchase of government bonds.