Italians invest in brick and mortar but today they look more at management costs than at the price

Years pass, fashions change and currencies also change, but what never changes is the Italians' certainty of investing in real estate. The latest ISTAT data show that for 83% of our compatriots, owning a home still represents the primary source of security and stability. And all this despite a market trend which, starting from the bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble in 2006, has been eventful to say the least.

Yet, although the house for Italians represents a fixed and immovable point, what has changed are the priorities that lead to the purchase of a property. To date, in fact, for the first time in the last 20 years, the parameter of greatest interest for those who have to buy a house, rather than the simple price per square meter, are the management/maintenance costs associated with it. But be careful: these costs, especially when it comes to energy costs, are not linked to the so-called “green home” – on which Europe seemed intent on placing insurmountable constraints (and which to date remains pending, without prejudice to the indications to countries to reduce emissions by 16% by 2030) – energy costs weigh on the scale. Brightness and a high floor also represent a priority for those who have to buy a house, followed by safety and the layout of the living spaces.

Environmental sustainability, however, is only the penultimate item in the ranking of important elements and is found just above the request for a garage.

«What has an impact on the new list of priorities of Italians looking for a new home is certainly the new way of living of people – explains Charlie Cinolo, CEO of Facile Immobiliare – who, after the pandemic, are looking for a house to spend much more time in than in the past. Today we stay at home 68% more than even just in 2019, when Covid had not shown the world, despite itself, a different way of living: necessarily more intimate and intimate. At home today we work much more than in the past, we do physical activity and we can communicate face to face even with those who live on the other side of the world.”

Therefore, without prejudice to the changed needs of Italians and their desire to 'invest in real estate', in recent years we have progressively witnessed a contraction in prices in the real estate market: but in 2023 we found for the first time after 2013 a slowdown in transactions which closed with -10% of transactions compared to 2022.
Reconstructing the performance of 2023 in detail, we note more precisely that the market for first homes surprisingly dropped by 14%, while transactions for moving houses recorded a real surge (+126% ) or second homes (+41%). It is quite easy to understand that the reduction in purchases of first homes is attributable to the decline in birth rates over the last twenty years and to the additional difficulty that many young couples have in obtaining mortgages compatible with their salaries, just as it is conceivable that the desire to moving house was somehow determined, once again, by the pandemic which made people more attached to the spaces in which they live.

For 2024, analysts from Censis and the Bank of Italy indicate that the market should essentially stabilize around the values ​​of 2023, even if we can assume that the fixed rates for mortgages at 2.5/3% could especially incentivize young women couples facing the purchase of their first home and rather continue to fuel the market for replacing the first home of families who want to improve their quality of life.

A house that they will find after careful research that is affected by the “Autoscout” effect, i.e. the comparison between the various portals that offer different types of homes and which, in fact, also allow private individuals to have a rough idea of ​​the fairness of the price of a building.

The fact that the term 'equity' is sensitive to geographical variables so that 5,000 euros per square meter in Milan is considered a disproportionate amount in Rome, where it is around 3,400 euros, is another matter, which perhaps we will address in a future intervention. .