Words by Carla Passino

Though the market has slowed down, seaside resorts in the two southern Italian regions are stable year on year.

The property downturn has had a light impact on Calabria and Basilicata, at least thus far. According to last week’s report by estate agent conglomerate Tecnocasa, seaside home prices are stable in the two southern Italian regions, bucking both regional and national trends.

Properties on the Italian coasts have seen a small decline in prices across the country—to the tune of 3.3% in the North, 5.1% in the Centre and 3.8% in the South. But Calabria and Basilicata were spared the pinch, though some signals indicate that the market may contract in coming months.

Buyers from a wide geographical base sustained interest and ensured steady prices in Soverato, a Calabrian resort on the Ionian sea. They came both from Italy and abroad—Britain, Denmark and Germany—looking for two bedroom flats of 60 to 70 square metres, preferably with garden or terrace. Among the most sought after properties are those in the modern town centre, which date from the 1960s and 1970s and cost in the region of €2,000-2,200 per square metre (and up to €2,600 if they have seaside views). The locals by contrast opt for restored fishermen homes in the historic centre. Throughout the town, however, demand has slowed down, leading Tecnocasa to talk about ‘first signs of a downturn.’
Up north in the Tyrrhenian resort of Scalea, the building boom that took place in previous years has led to an abundant supply and competitive pricing. Most buyers come here from Campania, and are willing to spend about €40,000, ideally for a two bedroom home close to the sea. However, location weighs heavily on pricing. For example, panoramic homes in the highly sought after Terrazze neighbourhood cost €1,200-1,300 per square metre, while those in the Petrosa area average €900-1,000. Foreign buyers, who chiefly come from Britain and Russia, prefer period homes in the medieval town centre, which cost about €1,000-1,300 per square metre.

Over the regional border in Basilicata, demand is still lively in the resort of Policoro, where families from Campania and Puglia flock to buy a place in the sun. They are chiefly looking for sunny one and two-bedroom flats, preferably with a garden or a terrace. Prices here are in the region of €1,000 per square metre for resale homes and up to €1,500 for new builds in the Lido neighbourhood (the one closest to the sea).
The market in Puglia and Campania, by contrast, has felt the impact of the economic downturn to a much greater extent. Prices went down by an average 3.5% in Puglia and 5.9% in Campania. Among the best performing resorts in these regions is Puglia’s Vieste, where there was a gap in expectations between vendors and buyers for lower budget homes but a really active demand for premium ones, particularly in the historic town centre.