Buying a property in Rome can be quite a complicated process that’s difficult to navigate, particularly if you’re an Expat and have little experience with the Italian market or arranging the purchase from overseas. There are many administrative and bureaucratic hoops to jump through, taxes and local fees to pay, and a lot of research that you will need to do before you can confidently purchase a suitable property in the Eternal City.
But don’t be put off! Once you understand the basic processes involved in purchasing a property and have done your due diligence, the rewards will more than outweigh the costs. Properties in Rome are highly valued and can generate excellent returns on the rental market. Popular with locals, Expats and visiting tourists, if you are buying to rent you’ll always be able to find suitable tenants for your Roman property. Alternatively, if you are planning to live in your property, it will give you the long-term security you need to really put down some roots in your new home abroad.
Overview Of The Real Estate Market In Rome.
The property market in Rome is one of the most appealing investments in Europe. As of 2022, the average price of property in Rome was just over 3,300 Euros per square meter. Of course, prices in the city do vary, with properties around the famous Spanish Steps costing upwards of 12,000 Euros per square meter while properties in the outskirts cost far less.
However, a surprising feature of the Roman property market in recent years has been a steady overall decline in the average price of residential properties. Since 2016, the average price per square meter has fallen from almost 3,500 Euros to just over 3,300 Euros. Even so, despite fluctuations in the purchase price, property in Rome generally represents a solid long-term investment.
Naturally, if you’re planning to buy a property to live in, then the declining prices in recent years mean that the moment could be perfect to jump into the Roman property market and take advantage of the relatively low prices at the moment.
Best Locations To Buy Property In Rome.
Rome is a huge, sprawling metropolis with a population of almost 3 million and 15 official neighborhoods, called ‘municipi’. Each neighborhood, or municipi, has its own benefits and perks although a few stand out as especially great places to buy property.
The Historic City Center Of Rome.
As one of the most iconic locations in the world, Rome’s historic city center includes beautiful areas such as the Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna and the Campo de Fiori. Everything you need is within easy walking distance and there are excellent public transport links all throughout the historic center. However, if you have a car it may cost you a lot to park and you’ll have to deal with very heavy traffic, particularly during rush hours.
Property will always be in demand in the historic center and you’ll be able to leverage high prices for short-term rentals. On the other hand, if you’re planning to live in the neighborhood you’ll have to get used to the crowds of tourists and higher prices in the local restaurants, cafes and bars.
This is an elegant, tranquil, safe and stylish neighborhood that is defined by wide, tree-lined streets and stunning architecture. The neighborhood is also home to some of Rome’s best parks, including Villa Ada, Monte Mario and Villa Borghese.
On the downside, public transport links are relatively poor in Parioli and property prices can be quite steep compared to many of the less desirable neighborhoods in the city. Despite this, Parioli is a great place to bring up a family and there’s a strong sense of community in the locality.
As one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, Trastevere is a fantastic place to buy property. Trastevere is an excellent location to live in Rome, with easy access to the city center as well as good access to the nearby beaches and countryside. Trastevere has an extremely lively atmosphere with wonderful boutiques, late-night bars, restaurants and cafes.
The neighborhood has a definite Bohemian vibe and you’ll often see live music on the streets and venues holding special arts-related events. All in all, Trastevere is one of the best neighborhoods to buy property in and due to its ongoing popularity, it may be a superb addition to your investment portfolio in the long term.
Additional Considerations For Rome Property.
The quality of public transport links does vary quite a lot within Rome. Even so, most districts have satisfactory amounts of public transport and reasonable access to the city’s metro system. Another consideration that you’ll need to keep in mind is the location of local schools, hospitals and other amenities. This is particularly important if your children will need to go to an international English language school or you have an ongoing health condition that requires ongoing treatment.
Main Types Of Accommodations In Rome.
The vast majority of residential properties in Rome are flats and apartments. And although you can buy a lovely house in the city, any free-standing property can be extremely expensive. Roman apartments are often very beautiful and may have a private balcony, rooftop terraces and shared gardens in a central courtyard.
The apartments in a building are frequently located on the upper floors and have small, independent businesses such as bakeries, grocery shops, restaurants and offices on the ground floor of the building. This gives the apartment blocks in Rome a great sense of community and a lively, bustling atmosphere. The buildings usually have an internal lift and sometimes have underground parking or shared laundry facilities.
Studio apartment – known as a ‘Monolocale’ – 25-40 sqm.
Two-bedroom apartment – known as a ‘Bilocale’ – 50-60 sqm.
Three-bedroom apartment – known as a ‘Trilocale’ – 80-100 sqm.
Four-bedroom apartment – known as a ‘Quadrilocale’ – 100-120 sqm.
Penthouse – known as an ‘Attico’ – size varies, often including a private terrace.
NOTE: White Goods, Kitchen Equipment And Fittings – Just like in most of Italy, when you buy a property in Rome the purchase price will not usually include white goods, kitchen appliances, light fittings and other fixtures. Generally, you will have to supply your own unless you have arranged to purchase these items as part of your contract with the seller of the property.
Living Space Vs Commercial Space.
When you buy a property in Rome, you need to make sure you check whether the advertised square meters of the property is ‘living space’ or ‘commercial space’. Living space refers to the actual space within the property whereas the commercial space includes balconies, cellars, shared communal areas and other parts of the building that you may not have exclusive access to. Therefore, it’s always worth clarifying with the estate agent to make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for.
Finding The Right Property To Buy In Rome.
Finding the perfect property in Rome can be pretty daunting, to say the least. However, in recent years the a rise in online property websites, such as Immobilaire, Casa.it, Trovacassa and Idealista, have all made searching for properties a lot easier. You can filter properties by type, price and other crucial factors so you only need to assess relevant properties during your search.
Alternatively, you can still rely on a traditional estate agent to identify suitable properties for you to consider. The services of an estate agent will cost you money in fees but the local knowledge that they have at their disposal can often be worth its weight in gold.
Another option that is open to you is to hire the services of a property-finding service. A property-finding service will help you with every aspect of finding a property and can be especially helpful if you’re purchasing a property from overseas.
Guide To Purchasing A Property In Rome.
The administrative process and red tape involved in buying a property in Rome can be quite onerous. Before you begin the process of buying a property in Rome, you will need to have your Codice Fiscale (Italian tax number), a Residence Certificate, or a Visa and Residence Permit if you’re not from within the European Union.
Once you have found a suitable property, you will need to make a price offer which your estate agent will pass on to the seller. If you need financing for the property, then you should try to arrange this as soon as possible although your real estate agent should be able to assist with this.
After you’ve made an offer, you and the seller will have to agree on the drafting and signing of a preliminary purchase contract. This is known as a ‘Contratto Preliminare’ or a ‘Compromesso’. You must also register with the Italian Tax Authorities, known as the ‘Agenzia delle Entrate’.
Next, you will usually have to pay a deposit of between 10-15% of the total property price before you finally sign the final purchase agreement. And once these documents have been notarized you can pick up the keys!
Taxes Involved When Purchasing A Property In Rome.
There are several main taxes that you’ll have to pay when buying a property in Rome although the precise types of tax that you have to pay will vary depending on the type of property you’re buying. Even so, if you’re buying a property from an individual seller or a company that is not required to pay VAT, you will have to pay the following taxes:
A Registration tax of 2-9%. If this is your first property in Italy then the registration tax can be as low as 2% but luxury properties and second properties can mean that you have to pay a registration tax of up to 9%.
A one-off Cadastral tax of approximately 100-200 Euros.
Imposta Municipale Propria (IMU) – This is a tax that only applies if the property is not your main residence or is a second home in Italy.
The TARI tax. This is a municipal tax that you will have to pay once you’ve moved into the property to pay for local services such as waste removal.
Real Estate Commission. If you’ve been working with an estate agent to purchase your property in Rome then you will have to pay a fee for their services. This fee varies but is usually between 2-5% of the property price.
Buying A Property In Rome Is A Dream Come True.
Although there is a fair amount of red tape and a complex bureaucratic process that you’ll have to deal with, once you have the keys to your property in Rome you’ll be able to enjoy the countless benefits of living in the Eternal City. With a wealth of galleries, churches and museums to explore, world-class shopping and an unparalleled culinary heritage, life in Rome is an absolutely unforgettable experience.