Dotted around the Italian countryside and in pretty historic villages there are thousands of cheap houses for sale, just waiting for someone to recognise their beauty and potential. If you explore areas outside the tourist hot spots you’ll discover that a low budget can get you a charming home of your own in the real Italy, where local traditions, family values and healthy local produce are part of everyday life. We take a tour of the regions with the cheapest homes in Italy.
Where can you find the cheapest homes in Italy?
The regions most well-known for low priced properties include Abruzzo, Le Marche, Basilicata, Calabria, Molise and Sicily. However, even the more famous regions that boast UNESCO world heritage sights, art cities, beautiful coastlines, charming villages and tourist attractions have areas where you can still find great value property. For example, central Italy is considered expensive, but if you look in the far north and south of Tuscany and Umbria you can get much more house for your money. In Umbria, you can still find character stone houses for under €100,000 and even as low as €40,000 if you take the time to search them out.
Although northern Italy has some of the most expensive areas particularly around the lakes, ski resorts and cities, you can still find bargains. If you love lake and sea views the advice is to look away from the waters edge and head up into the hills for lower prices. This will also be where you’ll get the best panoramic views. If you like a popular region but can’t afford the property there, take a look in the neighbouring region. For example, right next door to Lombardy you have Piedmont, which has some very large country houses for less than €150,000.
Property in Italy under €50,000
When looking at property under €50,000, always ask yourself why it’s so cheap. The main reasons tend to be, that it needs renovation work, its very small, is in a remote location or is located in an earthquake zone. After considering the renovation costs you may find it cheaper to buy the €100,000 property that’s more habitable. That said, there are a growing number of people who are seeking a simpler way of life away from the hubbub of modern life, for whom these properties are perfect. Some buyers use them as holiday homes and take their time doing them up over many years.
Want a holiday home but worried about the cost? Why not pool finances and buy with family? Explore our guide, Buying Abroad with Family.
Cheap places in the sun
If you are looking for a small cheap getaway place in the sun, head to one of the southern regions. Parts of Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily have low priced properties within easy driving distance of airports and the sea.
Apulia offers many small properties dotted around the countryside including the traditional Trulli houses. It has an average property price of €1,340/m2. It’s also a popular location for buying holiday homes.
Basilicata is more rugged, but has large detached houses at great prices. It has an average property price of €1,537/m2.
Italy has properties to suit every budget and sometimes you will find €80,000 homes in the same area as €1,000,000 ones
Southern Sicily is famous for its historical buildings and popular seaside towns, but if you go inland there are some incredibly cheap properties. Caltanissetta has an average property price of €874/m2.
Calabria has holiday apartments within walking distance of the sea at ridiculously low prices. An apartment in Scalea can cost as little as €30,000. The average price in the region as a whole is €1,180/m2. Within the region, head to Catanzaro for an average price of just €989/m2.
Cheap homes in the mountains
If you head up to the North, life is generally more expensive. However, head northeast and you can still find some bargains on the border with Austria and Slovenia. This is a fantastic place for nature-lovers, with pristine countryside all around. In Clauzetto, the average price is extremely low: €468/m2.
Italy has properties to suit every budget and sometimes you will find €80,000 homes in the same area as €1,000,000 ones. The size, condition and style of property can vary greatly within one province, making it difficult for sellers to price their homes.
Always bargain with agents
To get a cheap property, you need to explore your chosen area thoroughly and view different styles of building within your budget. When you find the one that suits you best, compare its price with others you have seen and make an offer. Many properties have been up for sale for a few years and so on average sellers will accept offers 10% under the asking price or rounded down to the nearest ten thousand.
I’ve known sellers that will accept offers 10% under the asking price or rounded down to the nearest ten thousand.
On the other hand, I have also heard of some Italians who really haven’t grasped the rules of negotiation and think that once they have a keen potential buyer they can actually put the price up higher. If the estate agent offers to get a builder he knows to do the renovation work, don’t feel obliged to use them. Always get other quotes and always in writing. Every thousand you can save will go along way towards getting that new kitchen or pool.