Italy

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Sebastian_Vettel_F1_Monza_s.jpgIt’s been a while since we posted a Property Grand Prix post here. We lost track of time and in the meantime so much has happened, including the amazing win of Germany’s Vettel as the youngest driver ever to grace the podium.

To recap what we missed out on let’s start with the Belgium Grand Prix. As the seasons thirteenth race, the race started out on a drying track before late rain caused chaos. Brit Hamilton finished first after a he overtook Kimi Raikkonen only two laps from the finish line. To make matters worse for the Fin, he crashed his car shortly after. Ironically, Hamilton received a drive-through penalty for cutting a chicane (which was changed to a 25 second penalty because it occurred in the last five laps of the race).

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Villas in Tuscany Italy
Panzano in Chianti, Tuscany [Photo credits to Cinnamon Bun on Flickr]

Value for money in Tuscany and neighbouring Umbria seems more problematic than in most residential overseas property markets. Favoured by climate, landscape and history, these regions of Italy are well and truly discovered. So ready-for-occupation/letting properties are not cheap and nor is the process of buying in skills and materials to renovate properties. There is little new building going on as this type of property doesn’t have the allure of authentic Tuscany (but see this new build apartment in Tuscany).

Apart from possessing the skills needed for renovation, the only other way to increase what you get for your euros is to look beyond the core region around Florence and Siena. However, the tide of expat property investors has steadily been pushing out the boundaries of Tuscany’s second home market. So that, whereas bargains could be found in the hinterland of Lucca, in the west, or Grosseto, in the south, in 2005, this year the Lunigiana district is becoming the focus of attention. From here, Florence is almost as distant as Milan.