Venice Attracting Russian Investors
The Swiss and the British are also still among the top foreign buyers but the number of Americans has dropped off, according to Claire Hazle of Knight Frank's Italian department.
Around 65% of luxury property sales in Venice are to foreign buyers and this figure has remained largely unchanged in the last decade, her latest analysis reveals.
Overall, the market in Venice's city centre remained relatively stable throughout 2011. Prices in Italy's cities have seen growth of 72% since 2000 and despite the recent global economic malaise prices in the mainstream Italian property market have fallen by only 8% since their peak in the second quarter of 2008.
The luxury homes market has performed well with increased buyer activity due to a slight decrease in prices toward the end of the year. Currently a typical prime property in a central location will now achieve from ˆ6,000 to ˆ9,000 per square meter. The higher end of the market, consisting of the more desirable homes in the very best locations, such as the Grand Canal or within a trophy building, currently command prices in the region of ˆ10,000 to ˆ12,000 per square meter.
Miss Hazle points out that buyers are predominantly lifestyle driven as opposed to short term speculative investors. Although activity remains among UK, Swiss, Dutch and French buyers, interest is growing steadily from the Russian market in recent years.