Corporate strategy

A Second Home in Italy Put on Hold by Britons Stung by Exchange Rate Fall

Annalisa Angellotti

Appetite for second-homes in Italy is declining amongst Britons after the referendum triggers a notable drop in the value of the Pound and the Brexit process increases uncertainty.

Although the average spend on Italian property is still rising, interest has declined since the decision in June.

That’s according to Gate-away.com, a leading property portal with more than 22,000 Italian properties listed.

They have reported that the average value of the British property enquiries in 2015 was €303.000 while in the four months before Brexit it jumped to €320.000, the highest the company has seen.

After the referendum results it went down to €312.000 but figures still currently remain higher than the 2015 average value.

Annalisa Angellotti is the Co-founder and Vice Managing Director at Gate-away.com.

She says, “we think that when the British buy a second home in Italy the purchase is not just a case of property investment but often it is driven by a passion for the ‘bel-paese’ (meaning beautiful country in Italian).

“Although this affection is unlikely to be affected by the Brexit, one can readily surmise that the current increased caution on the part of the Brits can be attributed to uncertainties around the effective triggering of Article 50, and the how the government will negotiate its EU decisions.”

For Gate-Away.com, the typical customer is usually a lover of Italian lifestyle, a frequent traveller who perhaps has European roots or heritage.

This is especially common for Americans, as up to 30% of last names among Americans on the site are of Italian descent.

Angellotti says, “the US currently make up the companies most prolific buyers. At the moment interest is currently growing 50% on 2015 figures.”

Although a lot of these figures come from analysis before the referendum, data from the first quarter shows interest from Germany and America overtake Brits from the first time, since the referendum that interest has now doubled.

Angellotti believes the company offers a unique view point as no other market competitors really exists. The company is exclusively devoted to overseas buyers, with a website designed for use by non-natives.

Not only has it been translated in to ten languages, but comprehensive listings for properties anywhere in the country are available via a portal.

Gate-away.com was founded in 2007, Angelotti explains:

“It began after I met Simone Rossi, the co-founder of the company. I knew him in Great Britain where we were working in a property company.

“As there was no website specialising in the Italian property market, mainly people that were looking for a second home in Italy, we decided to come back to the “belpaese” and begin this adventure.

“By creating this overseas showcase for the residential housing market our aim was to make multiple features available to help people finding property for sale in Italy, and to provide assistance in navigating the sales or rental process.”

Although with her roots in Italy, Angelotti has a firm commercial interest in Britain and the company has been watching Brexit unfold carefully.

Because of the staggering interest in Italy as a second property destination, they have taken the decision to produce and release a report early next year which will look at key indicators in the decisions behind this choice.

Angelotti believes Brexit could be a large contributing factor due to the knock on effect with currency conversion.

She says, “in the annual report that Gate-away.com is going to release at the beginning of 2017, it will be interesting to see whether this trend will be stable.

“We hope it will be useful to also understand how and what international political events can influence our country's appeal. We believe that Italy has huge margins of development in terms of foreign demand for Italian properties.”

Whether that demand will increase as the Brexit process progresses remains to be seen.

Aventure Wealth Consultation