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Flat In Florence


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I have a house in southwest France. In the past year, I've met two people in the area who have fled Italy after nightmare experiences buying property there (one in Tuscany, one in Puglia).

Sounds like out of the Italian pizza oven into the French fire.

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Good, be nice if it happened in this country and all the picturesque south coast villages went back to having affordable (genuinely) housing for people who want their own home to actually live in all year.

Not much good about it afaic.

As alluded to in someone else's story, there's no market for many of these rural Italian properties. People have sunk their savings into them because they're ancestral homes and they had a sense of obligation in keeping them going. From an investment point of view they were on a hiding to nothing. There are a couple of hamlets in my mum's valley where that didn't happen and they've basically collapsed into rubble over my lifetime. I can't see that contributing to the viability of the local economy very much.

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Not much good about it afaic.

As alluded to in someone else's story, there's no market for many of these rural Italian properties. People have sunk their savings into them because they're ancestral homes and they had a sense of obligation in keeping them going. From an investment point of view they were on a hiding to nothing. There are a couple of hamlets in my mum's valley where that didn't happen and they've basically collapsed into rubble over my lifetime. I can't see that contributing to the viability of the local economy very much.

Come back to the ethos of this site; why most of us are here.

A house should be a home to live in and affordable to anybody on a reasonable income.

They shouldn't be investments. You pay out to maintain a house to live in it.

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Come back to the ethos of this site; why most of us are here.

A house should be a home to live in and affordable to anybody on a reasonable income.

They shouldn't be investments. You pay out to maintain a house to live in it.

As I mentioned, the properties I'm referring were not maintained as an investment.

They're rural properties in a country with a plummeting birthrate for which there is not much of a market and will fall into ruin as the burden of owning them goes beyond a certain point. Instead of making some contribution to the local economy, they'll make none.

edit:

e.g.1 Up North Why are the inhabitants of a tiny Italian hamlet selling 14 homes for a mere £195,000?

e.g.2 Down South Council in Gangi selling off around 20 homes for the price of a cup of coffee in the hope of attracting new life to hilltop community

This is not the same deal as in the UK where locals have been denied affordable housing by second home owners.

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Bad idea to get a rental in Firenze. IMHO.

Government and commune are taxing everything more and more monthly.

I have family in Florence and the costs of running a house are enough for them considering jacking it all in.

Eye watering costs. Really.

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As I mentioned, the properties I'm referring were not maintained as an investment.

They're rural properties in a country with a plummeting birthrate for which there is not much of a market and will fall into ruin as the burden of owning them goes beyond a certain point. Instead of making some contribution to the local economy, they'll make none.

edit:

e.g.1 Up North Why are the inhabitants of a tiny Italian hamlet selling 14 homes for a mere £195,000?

e.g.2 Down South Council in Gangi selling off around 20 homes for the price of a cup of coffee in the hope of attracting new life to hilltop community

This is not the same deal as in the UK where locals have been denied affordable housing by second home owners.

That;s interesting. I had an ex from Aosta. One of her friends came from Calsazio,

The wierd little local government are sucking in more + more money. Its nuts. My ex works one of the communes. Its the equivalent to a UK town council but it taxes like a big government.

My ex and her mates had been trying to gets public sector jobs for ages. Their turn came when they hit 40. Now they've got their feet up and are just dicking around, letting the next generation do the work.

This is the North. They don;t even attempt to go through the motions of pretending to work in the South.

One notable thing about Italy - even the North - is how physically wierd and weedy a lot of the people look.

I'd never noticed it before. I was looking at a photo of my ex and some of her work mates. Quite a few of them look very 'not right'.

I'm not sure what's happening here. Sure, go to bigger towns and you get a look of good looking people. Go a bit outside and it drops off a lot. Maybe its just the aging of the population.

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One notable thing about Italy - even the North - is how physically wierd and weedy a lot of the people look.

I'd never noticed it before. I was looking at a photo of my ex and some of her work mates. Quite a few of them look very 'not right'.

I'm not sure what's happening here. Sure, go to bigger towns and you get a look of good looking people. Go a bit outside and it drops off a lot. Maybe its just the aging of the population.

The (what I refer to as) limpness of which you speak has caught my attention also. I'm not sure what it's all about either.

It's a sick, unwell country. The birthrate is falling, the economy stagnant and the institutional parasitism and corruption is choking any possibility of recovery.

Young Italians and Italian capital are currently streaming into the UK, particularly London.

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As I mentioned, the properties I'm referring were not maintained as an investment.

They're rural properties in a country with a plummeting birthrate for which there is not much of a market and will fall into ruin as the burden of owning them goes beyond a certain point. Instead of making some contribution to the local economy, they'll make none.

edit:

e.g.1 Up North Why are the inhabitants of a tiny Italian hamlet selling 14 homes for a mere £195,000?

e.g.2 Down South Council in Gangi selling off around 20 homes for the price of a cup of coffee in the hope of attracting new life to hilltop community

This is not the same deal as in the UK where locals have been denied affordable housing by second home owners.

It's still second homes however you paint it.

I agree that having them there is not denying local people a home as it is here, but nobody wants second homes in their village or town. There was one in the last street I lived in. Friendly street and I knew quite a few people in it. And stuck in the middle one big house empty for all but four weeks of the year. I would rather it fell into ruin than it be a second home.

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The (what I refer to as) limpness of which you speak has caught my attention also. I'm not sure what it's all about either.

It's a sick, unwell country. The birthrate is falling, the economy stagnant and the institutional parasitism and corruption is choking any possibility of recovery.

Young Italians and Italian capital are currently streaming into the UK, particularly London.

It might be almost 30 years of stress and depression.

I was pursuing Italian girls in the late 80s/early 90s. Sure, you had a few who's family were very 'close' but there were a lot who were pretty hot.

Now, you just don't have that. And its not because Im getting older. I think there's a massive spark thats gone out esp. since the mid 90s.

Its very much a cargo-cult country now.

Just waiting for my ex's mum to start nagging her about why she did not shack up with the english man.

Daft thing, my ex's mum was very active in putting the end to the relationship, as in really against it.

15 years on, my ex is now not going to have kids. I know she's resigned herself to being childless, which is sad.

My ex had a school photo of my daughter and her mum was asking who it was. She was a bit thoughtful when she was told.

Italian women rate Italian men as terrible choices for having kids with now.

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It's still second homes however you paint it.

I agree that having them there is not denying local people a home as it is here, but nobody wants second homes in their village or town. There was one in the last street I lived in. Friendly street and I knew quite a few people in it. And stuck in the middle one big house empty for all but four weeks of the year. I would rather it fell into ruin than it be a second home.

I included links to a couple of illustrative stories that indicate that at least some people and local authorities are desperate for 'second homes' in their village or town, and would prefer that to them crumbling into heaps, in Italy.

Different worlds.

I'm not making a case for second home ownership in the UK. It clearly has had a negative impact on communities in sought after locations.

In many parts of Italy the norm has been to move in search of work, either from South to North or overseas. The fixed point in those people's lives was their town or village of origin and they maintained family homes there with an intention of returning as and when circumstances permitted. What you might refer to as their second home is their first home as far they're concerned. In many cases, it was the money sent back by ex-pats that kept the local economies ticking over. People would go 'home' as often as possible, organise ex-pat social associations centred on their home town or region, hold fund-raisers to contribute to facilities back in their home towns. It's not the same thing as a non local buying a holiday pad in the Lakes.

In practice, once a property passes down to a second or third generation migrant the sense of attachment and commitment isn't really there and a lot of these properties do collapse into crumbling heaps.

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I included links to a couple of illustrative stories that indicate that at least some people and local authorities are desperate for 'second homes' in their village or town, and would prefer that to them crumbling into heaps, in Italy.

Different worlds.

I'm not making a case for second home ownership in the UK. It clearly has had a negative impact on communities in sought after locations.

In many parts of Italy the norm has been to move in search of work, either from South to North or overseas. The fixed point in those people's lives was their town or village of origin and they maintained family homes there with an intention of returning as and when circumstances permitted. What you might refer to as their second home is their first home as far they're concerned. In many cases, it was the money sent back by ex-pats that kept the local economies ticking over. People would go 'home' as often as possible, organise ex-pat social associations centred on their home town or region, hold fund-raisers to contribute to facilities back in their home towns. It's not the same thing as a non local buying a holiday pad in the Lakes.

In practice, once a property passes down to as second or third generation migrant the sense of attachment and commitment isn't really there and a lot of these properties do collapse into crumbling heaps.

Ah, got you. I didn't know what you were talking about with ancestral homes. So not second homes as I understand it then.

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Ah, got you. I didn't know what you were talking about with ancestral homes. So not second homes as I understand it then.

If I was an apologist for the kind of second home ownership that goes on in say the Lakes, or Cornwall, I wouldn't be posting here.
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It did strike me as a bit out of character, your talking about snapping up some overseas property investments. Sorry, investmentz.

Yes, there are interests in flats in Italy knocking about my family. As mentioned previously, it used to be where Italians attempted to preserve their savings, rather than 'paper' investments. That's not necessarily as rapacious as the UK because rents were heavily controlled and, as mentioned, it was quite normal to say own a property in the South but live, work and rent in the North. Renters might also be home owners, home-owners might also be renters. Generally speaking renters have had a whip hand over landlords post WW2.

Also, as already mentioned what with one thing and other if any share of property in Italy does come my way I could more easily end up being out of pocket as in for an unearned gain. Hard to conceive of in the UK in 2015 but in Italy it's more than possible. I view any interests in fixed assets in Italy as a colossal poisoned chalice/ ball ache and would advise anyone who asks my opinion on such investmentz accordingly.

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Presumably a flat in a city such as Florence would be less risky than something provincial?

In some ways; the relaxation of regulations for short let's, the marketability, yes.

It'd still be in Italy though.

There is a wider question here which I'm sure has been done to death elsewhere in HPC as to where prudent folk can park their savings, not with any intention of speculative gain but simply to preserve their value.

In Italy, for understandable reasons, there's been a mistrust of banks, currency and paper investments.

If only there was some trustworthy, reliable mechanism or exchange where people could invest their savings in productive industry to the benefit of all...

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So is Italy the most disfunctional property market (and economy) in Europe? Now I think about it, I have met a few young Italians who are very disillusioned with their coutry, much more so it seems, than Spaniards. I haven't really spoken to any greeks though.

Old stats but back in the 90s when I worked briefly for a British building society that had acquired a small subsidiary in Italy, the typical British home-owner would buy/sell three or four homes in a lifetime. The equivalent Italian would buy one, usually for cash with family assistance. A very different property market. Flogging mortgages was like selling ice cubes to Eskimos. I gather a lot changed with the introduction of the Euro, when Italians could start borrowing and flipping at Teutonic interest rates, but I was out of that particular game by then.

How Italy stacks up against the other Mediterranean countries I wouldn't presume to know. The pessimism amongst my relatives, old and young, is tangible though and, by all accounts, another one of those diasporas that country is prone to may be under way.

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So is Italy the most disfunctional property market (and economy) in Europe?

I would say Greece - Italy pleads poverty - but the place is awash with money. I know this first hand, staying with relatives in Calabria - one of the poorest regions in Italy, but new cars and lovely clothes abound - if the official economic figures make grim reading it may be down to the enormity and reach of the black economy

Now I think about it, I have met a few young Italians who are very disillusioned with their coutry, much more so it seems, than Spaniards. I haven't really spoken to any greeks though.

I think the difference between the young italians and Spaniards is the Italians bought into the spiel that we are all one Europe reinforced with the adoption of the Euro - they've always been very keen Europeans and the mindset (mainly in the north) is they think they are more connected to Northern europe than the southern med. When I've been to Milan (I hate the place but have relatives there) it feels like a German city if I didn't know where I was and most Italian youth passes through the north as the south is a feeder system for cheap pliable labour - perhaps that's the cause of disillusionment - now that they have to come to London for work, it's opened their eyes that it was all smoke and mirrors

The spanish mindset is very different (I'm half and half so reasonably feel I can comment on both countries) Whereas families are shrinking in Italy (they've not quite become nuclear families, but I posit fewer offspring will cause a tendency to that) spain has a slightly better birth rate and a greater sense of community (even in the big cities) - this in part can be attributed to the country's Catholicism (even though churchgoing is falling and mainly done by the older generations) just about every festival, holiday and carnival can be attributed to a saint or holyday - and people come out in droves (whether practicing catholic or not) and further attributed to generally popular monarchy. Yes, there is a sizeable left wing in Spain, but there was genuine affection for Juan Carlos and he is remembered as having returned spain to democracy following the '82 coup. Having said all that, all the spanish flooding London are having their eyes opened also, but I suspect have more of a yearning to return to spain, whereas the Italian youth are more 'meh' about going back.

In general: Italian youth are far far more cynical than spanish youth - and I can't really pinpoint why - to hazard a guess, it's seeing the disgrace that is the italian political class (their so called elite and rulers). I'm not saying Spanish politicos are paragons of virtue, but they have absolutely nothing on the italians

All this about spain can be discredited by examining Barcelona and Catalonia, but they are arsey buggers and the rest of spain can't stand them

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