Purchasing a Property in Italy

Purchasing a Property in Italy

Updated on Monday 09th November 2020

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The Italian real estate sector has always been attractive for international investors. Both the commercial and the residential real estate markets provide numerous investment opportunities to foreign citizens coming to Italy. The government has also enabled programs for high net worth individuals who want to obtain Italian residency by purchasing a property in the country.
However, before starting the purchase process it is best to verify the property you are about to buy. In order to help foreign citizens, our Italian lawyers offer real estate due diligence procedures which will secure the success of the purchase. The procedure itself is rather complex, and it is highly recommended to receive professional assistance on the legislation in the field and the steps one must follow when buying a property in Italy.

Buying real estate in Italy


In both residential and commercial real estate purchases there are several steps to be followed. The first one is finding the suitable property and having it inspected. It is also advisable to have the Italian property evaluated in order to make sure the price is correct. Among the aspects that need to be taken into consideration when buying a property in Italy are:
  • making sure the property is not subject to any encumbrances or third party rights;
  • making sure the property is registered with the Land Register;
  • making sure all planning permits are in place as well as and other necessary documents;
  • making sure the property is suitable for certain activities, in the case of commercial real estate purchases.


Once the buyer has decided on a certain property, a contract will be drafted and a deposit must also be paid before the purchase is completed. If you need assistance with the sale-purchase agreement you can request the services of our law firm in Italy.

Buy a home in Italy – the newest market trends 

The property market in Italy was also affected by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the latest data show that the market is recovering at a fast pace. However, it must be observed that the preferences of the persons who want to buy a home in Italy also modified throughout 2020, in the sense that homebuyers now prefer detached properties that also provide an outdoor space, as presented by the Bank of Italy.  
Below, our Italian real estate lawyers have gathered some of the highlights of the property market in this country, referring to the current prices at which properties are sold in various Italian cities and regions, the top foreign nationals interested in purchasing properties here and other relevant matters: 
  • in the Italian Housing Market Survey, carried out by the National Bank between 31 August – 20 September 2020, 1,403 real estate agents reported a decline in the prices of Italian properties;
  • in September 2020, in Rome, the highest price per square meter was in the city’s center (Centro Storico), were a square meter was valued at EUR 7,474; 
  • the lowest price available when buying a property in Italy in the city of Rome was in Appio Latino, were a property was valued at EUR 3,927 per square meter;
  • the top foreign nationals interested in purchasing a property were represented by Germans, British and Dutch citizens, who made numerous enquiries starting with 18th of May 2020, when property viewings were allowed in Italy, amid the Covid-19 restrictions;
  • even though it is estimated that in 2020, Italian real estate agents will sale only 494,000 properties, down by 18% compared to 2019, the highest demand is observed for high-end properties that are valued at EUR 1.5 million to EUR 2.5 million. 


What are the basic documents for buying a property in Italy? 

Those who want to purchase an Italian property have to take into consideration numerous aspects. Besides the entities involved in the transaction (the buyer, the seller, the notary and the Italian real estate lawyers), one has to verify if the price of the property is established in accordance with the real value of the property, but also the taxes one must pay during the transaction, as well as those that must be paid on a yearly basis by the owner of an Italian property
Our team of lawyers in Italy can help you with legal advice on all these aspects and can present the restrictions that can appear when buying a property here, based on the nationality of the foreigner (EU nationals benefit from an easy access to purchasing a property here). 
The procedure itself require the participation of a notary public, where the seller has to present the following documents: the ownership title of the house, the floor plan of the house, the cadastral document, the energy certificate, the building permits (necessary for properties that were built after 1967) and the identification documents of both the seller and the buyer. 

Who can buy land in Italy?

The right of buying land or buying a property in Italy is available for most of the categories of foreigners, which are divided based on the nationality. Italy does not impose restrictions on owning a property as a foreigner, but the manner in which one can purchase properties here can vary based on the nationality of the foreigner. 
For example, persons who are citizens of the European Union (EU) or of the European Economic Area (EEA) can buy a home in Italy following the same procedures addressed to Italian citizens. The same right is granted to persons who are stateless or to those who are refugees, but the possibility of purchasing a property can take place only if these categories of persons have lived in Italy for at least three years. Our law firm in Italy can offer more information on the process addressed to this category of possible buyers.  
For other categories of citizens, Italy allows the right to buy a home if there is an international treaty which agreed on a reciprocity condition between the Italian institutions and the institutions of the other country. This means that if a foreigner who is not a EU or a EEA citizen wants to buy a home in Italy, he or she will be able to do so as long as an international treaty stipulates that an Italian citizen is allowed to purchase a property in the country where the foreigner is a national. 
In the case in which there isn’t a reciprocity condition, then the foreigner will not be able to purchase a property here, as the Italian notaries are not entitled to draft and sign property contracts with persons who are from non-reciprocity countries. There are certain exemptions from this rule and you can address to our Italian lawyers for in-depth information regarding this matter.  

Steps to complete the purchase of an Italian property


The last steps to complete the purchase of a property in Italy are: signing the title deed, registering the property with the Italian Land Registry with the buyer as a new owner and applying for a tax code. The title deed must be signed by both seller and buyer before a public notary in Italy.
Once the document is signed, the new owner will register the property with the Land Register and pay all the required fees related to the procedure. The buyer must also obtain an Italian tax code in order to be able to pay the taxes related to owning a property in this country. If you need information about the taxation of real estate in Italy, do not hesitate to contact our Italian real estate lawyers