After 7 years of more or less flat prices on Lake Como we are expecting that prices will now resume a steady upward trend.
The tipping point from being a buyer’s market to a seller’s market seems to have arrived. The global financial crisis slowed demand considerably and led to an overhang of properties advertised for sale. This overhang has largely been eliminated during the past 12 months; selling times have shortened and a very broad range of nationalities now seek a home on Lake Como. Demand has risen year-on-year and most of the unloved properties that had been ‘stuck’ for several years have now been sold. The opportunity to build new homes to meet increased demand is very limited and likely to become more difficult.
Lake Como is without doubt one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. It is a destination of choice for the wealthy – some famous, many not – as it has been for the past 2,000 years since Pliny the Younger chose Como as the place to build a holiday home.
Many factors combine to create international demand beyond the stunning scenery. The desire for a safe location in troubled times combined with the Italian lifestyle is a major driver of demand. The hotels around Lake Como have high occupancy rates that many hoteliers elsewhere would love to achieve and for regular visitors the attractions of having their own home are considerable.
The global financial crisis sharpened the desire to spend wisely. Many buyers are looking for value – wanting to find a decent bargain. Distressed sellers are rare for a number of reasons, including the very unattractive consequences for banks of repossessing properties. And resale properties rarely meet top international standards internally. There has been a notable trend amongst our international buyers for taking a neglected property in a great location and upgrading. This has produced great ‘value’ with capital gains of 30% to 50% regularly achieved. For those seeking a bargain this is fertile hunting ground; it multiplies choice and, with wise selection, provides that ‘bargain’.
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