Lockdown has now been over for three weeks, Covid cases in Puglia are down to maximum 1 or 2 new cases a day, usually none, and estate agents are back to work. I am getting lots of enquiries from people hoping to visit soon to look at houses – with the usual provisos that , until the 14 days quarantine rules are lifted in the UK and the FCO travel advice changes it is difficult for people to travel. (Don’t even get me started on the stupidity of instigating a blanket quarantine when almost everywhere in Europe has less Covid cases).
It is interesting to see what is happening on the property market, in the light of recent events. Many interesting properties, which went on the market early in 2020, and would normally have been snapped up, are still available but, by and large, prices have not been reduced, or if they have, only by 5-10%. Where the decreases are greater there is often another reason, such as that they were originally over priced or that there is something wrong with them. An apartment I viewed last year, for example, priced at 70,000 is now on offer at 55,000, but it is just not very appealing- I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole, whatever the discount.
New properties, which have come on the market since lock-down ended are more likely to be fairly priced, or on the lower side of their market value but, by and large, they are not crazily underpriced. The main difference, and it is huge, is the number of seaside and country properties which have suddenly appeared on the market, usually already restored, or at least in good condition. My guess is that people, feeling the pinch, are selling their second homes and usually these properties are priced to sell. There should also be a reasonable demand for these from other Italians though, wanting to holiday in Italy and, in fact, some have appeared and been sold very quickly.
There are also good buys to be had in town based properties with outdoor spaces, from 50,000 to 90,000 – more of which next article..
There are more properties of all sorts on the market than there were this time last year, or so it seems to me and local estate agents I have spoken to are all very busy with viewings. Certainly, demand hasn’t diminished and may have even increased (from elsewhere in Europe as well, based on my enquiries) If you are thinking of coming to Puglia to look at properties I would offer the following advice:
At the moment there doesn’t seem to be anything to be gained by postponing plans in the hope that prices may crash (never say never but the general opinion is that they won’t). It is worth, more than ever, offering lower though, just in case.
Depending on when travel from your country is possible, don’t come between August 10th and 20th – the main public holiday here is the 15th and estate agents may well be shut, as everyone takes the week before or after the 15th as holiday. It is also the worst time to see Puglia as holiday makers descend from all over Italy
Do do your homework while you are waiting to come. I am continuing to run free webinars on the buying process – the next two are next Tuesday (23rd) and Thursday (25th). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for joining details. Also, you may like to follow this blog, by clicking on the follow button above right, as I will be writing lots more articles on the subject, and featuring many more properties, and you will then get an email notification when something new is published.
Consider buying a ‘fixer upper’: building work is likely to be competitive at the moment and there are also recent government incentives put in place making certain types of work very inexpensive. If you definitely want something ‘ready to go’ now is the year for it though – as I said, I have never seen so many restored properties on the market at a good price.
Lastly, if you would like me to help you with a property search, speak to me before contacting agents. I can help people at no extra cost because agencies will waive the 3% you would normally pay them on purchase, but they won’t do this if they already consider you ‘their’ client. Of course I am still able to help with properties where you have already arranged a viewing, but it isn’t as cost effective.