Real Estate Values for Second Homes in Italy: growth or contraction?

Real Estate Values for Second Homes in Italy: growth or contraction?

Stefano's Column Mar 06, 2018 No Comments

Nowadays, there is much talk about a recovery of the real estate market in Italy. Stefano Petri tells us his opinion about the specific market segment of second homes.


For some months now, there has been much talk about a recovery of the Italian real estate market, without though a precise analysis of the different market segments. My will is to analyse the second homes market.

Until 2008 the market of second homes was very interesting, with a growth of real estate values which seemed to be endless. The percentage of Italian buyers was about 85-90%, while the international clients about 10-15%. So, assuming 100 deals in a year, 85-90 of them were closed with Italian buyers and 10-15 with international buyers. Why am I telling you this?

Because every day I hear people saying that this market segment is recovering, just because many international clients buy their second homes in our Bel Paese.

Even assuming an increasing interest of foreign buyers in investing in Italy, I believe that it is absolutely incorrect to affirm a recovery of the second homes market.

Nowadays this market segment in Italy attracts almost only international buyers, which were just 10-15% of the clients before 2008. Taking into account the probably increase of foreign buyers, we might suppose that the percentage reached 15-20%. So, the question is: how many Italian buyers are there now? The answer is discouraging: we can affirm that the percentage went down to 5-10%. An important slump, which seems not to increase in the medium term. So, if until 2008 we had 100 clients, 85 Italians and 15 foreigners, now we only have 30 (10 national buyers and 20 international buyers).

Anyone who knows even a little about the market rules, knows that the values depend on two factors, demand and supply, and that those values increase with the growth of demand and decrease with the growth of supply.


  • Let’s analyse the demand: have the values of the second homes in Italy decreased from 2008 until now and how much? Will they rise again? If so, when?
    From 2008 until now the buyers market has had a contraction of about 70% (100 clients in 2008 vs 30 clients in 2017). If we assume a directly proportional values reduction, we could affirm that they should have gone down by 70% from 2008 to 2017. This data is not plausible, whilst it is most likely to think that those values decreased by 40-50% (5% each year).
  • Let’s analyse the supply
    If we had 200 farmhouses (one of the most demanded categories of second homes) for sale in the province of Siena (one of the most loved province) in 2008, we now have about 1.000 farmhouses for sale in the same province (source:
    As already said, the reduction of the values is inversely proportional to the supply, and so we might affirm that the values of the farmhouses in the province of Siena should have become one-fifth of the previous ones.
    Unfortunately, the sellers think they could get the same values of 2008 and do not accept a 40-50% reduction.


So, when should we expect a real recovery of the second homes market?

I will come back to this in the next article, soon online, by analysing the variables of demand and supply, in order to understand if we really can expect an upturn.


(Read the linked articles: Real Estate Values for Second Homes in Italy: when can we expect a real recovery? and “Second homes: who are the buyers?”)

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Marzia Rognini

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