Property in Tuscany, The Appeal of Restoration Projects- By: Simone Rossi
Talking about homes to restore in Italy we cannot avoid to start from Tuscany. Restoration is part of Tuscany's DNA and it is measured as one of the main factors that kick started the great success that homes in this region have had in the last 30 years all over the world.
If we want to better understand the market of restoration properties in Tuscany we need to make a leap back in time, when Tuscany was just an area of central Italy with famous cities full of art and history, wonderful nature and, most of all, a lot of run down properties located on a jaw dropping scenario. Tourists fell in love with such beautiful views, started to collect information about those ruins and, once they found out that they were given away nearly for free due the absence of interest in those run down properties, these first investors bought and restored those homes. This process took place mainly in an area among the provinces of Florence, Siena and Pisa named Chianti and that afterwards, started to be called Chianti-shire.
Nowadays it is very difficult to find a typical Tuscan farm house to be restored, especially in the Chianti area, where all the run down real estates have already been restored. This has made the prices of renovation properties increase considerably and is not unlikely to find properties in such bad conditions that need to be pulled down and completely rebuild for "just" €400,000. But of course Chianti is a very beautiful and prestigious area of Tuscany and if the prices are so high it means also that the demand is as high as well.
Other than Chianti, Tuscany provides great investment opportunities throughout its territory. Another high end property area is Versilia, maybe more famous within Italians than non Italians. Versilia is the seaside resort of the province of Lucca and, particularly in the town of Forte dei Marmi, prices can go up to 14,000 Euros per square metre.
For anyone who do not reach such a budget do not despair, there's a part of Tuscany for your pocket as well! For instance there are two areas of Tuscany that are becoming very popular but that still offer very good deals: Lunigiana and Garfagnana. Lunigiana is the northern tip of Tuscany that someone calls "the finger of Tuscany" in the province of Massa e Carrara. Although the landscape is quite different than the typical Tuscan landscape, it is a very attractive area as well with its mountains that offer stunning views over wonderful valleys. Here prices are still very affordable and homes to be restored can cost as little as €80/100,000. Garfagnana on the other hand, is the inland part of the province of Lucca and, despite the high prices of the city of Lucca and Versilia that, as seen above, is one of the most expensive areas in Italy, it is a very attractive area with a good availability of restoration properties and prices that are similar to Lunigiana's.
As mentioned above, these two areas are increasing in their popularity and you'd need to move quickly if you are interested in investing in these areas before prices go up too much.
Although Tuscany has been for many years one of the most popular property markets to attracts foreign buyers, it has so much to offer yet that it still hold the top of the list of Italian regions as the most appealing property market in Italy.
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The author is an expert for the leading Italian property portal Gate-away.com, specialized also in homes for sale in Tuscany and homes for sale in Umbria for overseas buyers.