How to find your property in Italian Riviera, interview with founder of agency Terra Italia, Mrs. Peggy Peters

Your agency has been working successfully in Liguria for more than 20 years. Riviera di Fiori, the coastal area between Imperia to the east and Ventimiglia bordering the Côte d’Azur to the west. You moved here from Hamburg 25 years ago and you know this market not only from a business point of view but also from personal experience.

I am also a happy client of yours because under your leadership we completed the transaction at record speed. We started in mid-August and in less than 1.5 months we had already signed the contract at the notary public – it is a fairy tale for Italy and not only.

QUESTION: What is the advantage of buying a holiday property on the Italian Riviera compared to the French Riviera? In terms of taxes, maintenance costs?

The prices of villas, country houses and flats on the Italian Riviera are around 25% lower than those on the French Riviera as are the costs of construction and renovation. In addition, the Italian hinterland is not as densely populated due to restrictions on new construction, i.e. land plots are larger. The ancillary costs of buying a property are also lower than in France, as the following current example shows. 
When buying a three-bedroom country house in Dolceaqua with a swimming pool and a 6,000 square meter plot for €780,000, in Italy you would have to pay about €16,000 for land transfer tax and notary fees, while in France the amount would be about €55,000. Notary costs and land transfer tax for an old 3-bedroom townhouse with a 25 sqm roof terrace and sea views in Perinaldo (purchase price €200,000) are around €6,000, in France you would have to pay twice as much. 
The current annual property tax in Italy is also much lower than on the neighbouring Cote d’Azur.
QUESTION: As you have been in the market for the last 20 years, what has happened to the price per square metre in that time?  Is it a good investment over time? 
Over the last 20 years, prices have risen moderately and now, for example, average €3.768 per square meter in Bordighera, €3.867 per square meter in Ospedaletti and €2.070 per square meter in Dolceacqua. 
Given the current high rate of inflation and rising interest rates, it is definitely a good time to invest in property on the Italian Riviera in Liguria. This location is also becoming increasingly popular as the year-round mild climate, combination of sea and mountains and easy road accessibility attract investors. 
QUESTION: Which type of property is the most attractive or in demand by clients (houses with pools and plots, or smaller flats; in the mountains (such as Dolceacqua and Apricale) or in seaside resort towns like Bordighera and Ospedaletti?
The most in demand are the typical country houses in the old town with large terraces and charming country houses or villas with a sea view and a maximum drive time of 15 to 20 minutes to the sea. However, flats within walking distance of the sea are also becoming increasingly popular with foreign holiday home buyers. For investors, it is usually important that they can reach shops and restaurants in a short time.
QUESTION: Turning to the budget question: what can be found for 200’000 EUR ? What about for 700’000 EUR ?
For example, for 200’000 EUR you can find a 100 sq m townhouse with a big panoramic terrace in one of the picturesque villages in the countryside, and for a good 100 sq m flat in Bordighera it would be between 300’000 and 390’000 EUR.  
QUESTION: Being an expert, what criteria do you think are the most important to buy a property in this region that must be checked carefully before deciding. Whether it is the ownership of the property, restrictions on the property, the purpose of the land, any other factors?
As always when buying a property: location, location, location! For example, you should pay attention to whether the property gets sunshine even in winter, whether there are structural defects such as dampness, what the area and surroundings are like. 
When buying, it is important to check that everything is in order in terms of building regulations, i.e. whether all necessary permits have been obtained for building, alterations or renovations and whether the actual condition corresponds to the building permit and cadastral plans. These checks are carried out by an independent surveyor who is paid by the seller. The certificate of surveyor’s approval is an integral part of the notarial contract. The notary, who can be chosen by the buyer in Italy, accompanies the purchase process and also checks whether the property is free of mortgages, encumbrances or third party rights. 
If you are planning to remodel or even build a new house, you should check in advance if the construction project is feasible. 
QUESTION: who are your customers, in terms of residence or nationality, and are there any restrictions known in practice on this aspect?
Our clients are mainly from Europe, most of them from German-speaking countries, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, but we are also seeing a growing demand from North America. We are mainly looking for second homes, holiday homes and properties that are good for holiday rentals.