- The insider spoke to several people in Italy who bought houses during the pandemic.
- A pastry chef, musician, software developer and others bought properties in Rome or Milan.
- For the most part, they felt there was less competition and lower prices.
In the US, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected tightened the real estate market…
In Italy, however, at least a few people told Insider that they had found the right time to buy a home. Especially during periods of isolation, fewer people attended face-to-face screenings, which diminished competition.
Sylvia, a 43-year-old psychologist living in Rome, bought herself an apartment in January 2021.
“It was hard work,” she said. “In a year and a half, we saw 150 apartments. Then prices dropped and we were able to buy a bigger apartment in the beautiful area of Centochelle, close to friends and main shops. First of all, there was enough room to live even in isolation. “
Software developer Mark Brunelli, 45, has also been looking for over a year.
Thanks to the pandemic and remote work, he had more time to search. Once he found what looked like the perfect ad, the ad disappeared. So he called and pushed to see the house.
He found he had structural problems, but by taking on the solution and paying the agency a higher fee, he was able to buy for € 100,000.
“I am in Boviza, an area that is changing a lot. I am sure this is a good investment and it was exactly what I was looking for, ”he said. “I may need a bigger house in the future. And I am confident that I can sell this apartment and make money. “
The opposite happened to Sarah, 31 years old. She bought the first apartment she visited.
She lived with her partner in a rented apartment, but during the pandemic they broke up and had to look for another home. Since the rent in Milan is high, she decided it was more convenient to buy with a mortgage.
The pandemic was a problem, but it also brought good luck.
“Prices are lower and fewer people are asking for the same apartment,” she said. “I needed a renovation and I found it.”
She admits the area may not be the best: Viale Padua in Milan is busy and has some petty crime problems. On the other hand, it is close to theaters, shops and public transport links.
In Milan, 28-year-old pastry chef Sergio Malatesta acquired the house in May 2020 in a court-ordered real estate auction, which usually features items confiscated from criminals. Due to the pandemic, a 3-room apartment in need of renovation could be bought for 200,000 euros.
He will rent a room to pay off the mortgage. The site is in Nolo, an old neighborhood that is currently booming. The area is diverse, vibrant and, importantly, close to many of his friends who made similar choices.
Ambra Kanevari, a 32-year-old musician, needed a house with an elevator and parking downstairs to easily move the harp to and from rehearsals and concerts. She began searching during the second quarantine in Italy in November 2020.
Few were going to personally see at home, and she found one in two months in Sesto San Giovanni. The sellers needed the money because they bought another house and had to sell it on time, so they agreed to a lower price than the one they first paid to buy it.
It was the perfect time to buy because Italian bank lending rules are based on using income from the previous two years as a guideline, and her freelance income varies. Due to the cancellation of concerts due to the pandemic, she said that she did not earn much, and waiting for another year could mean difficulties in obtaining a mortgage.