Slowdown slows down in the Italy real estate sector
However, there are some green shoots/encouraging signs that the housing slowdown is in fact slowing down.
The three months to the end of September showed a little over 132,750 Italy real estate transactions – a drop of 11.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2008, Italian Land Registry figures show. However, that decline was a slight improvement on the 12.3 per cent fall seen in the second quarter of 2009.
Northern regions saw the steepest drop, with the 14.7 per cent fall in homes sales almost double that seen in Central regions (8.2 per cent) and the South (6.6 per cent).
The regional divide is even more marked in commercial property in Italy. Whereas northern Italy has been hit by a 19 per cent fall in the office sector and a 22 per cent fall in warehouse real estate transactions, the South has experienced an 8.6 per cent surge.
In the residential market, although capital and non-capital cities fare equally well (or badly), there is a wide gap between cities and smaller towns.
Although regional capitals Milan (Lombardy) and Bologna (Emilia-Romagna) showed positive figures in the second quarter of 2009, they experienced a downturn in the third quarter (a 14 per cent drop in Milan and a 4 per cent fall in Bologna.
Other large cities also recorded minus figures, varying from -27 per cent (Florence) to the -3 to -4 per cent seen in Palermo (Sicily) and Naples (Campania)
The Land Registry estimates that 2009 will see around 600,000 property transactions, around 25 per cent down on the 815,000 registered two years ago.