In Italy there are more and more single people which begs the question; what are their options when it comes to housing? The Italian real estate company, Tecnocasa, has done some research and come up with the following property market statistics.
The latest data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) tell us that there are more and more single people in Italy: in 2018 there were 8,659,000 families made up of a single member, more than 2.4 million more than those registered in 2004 (when 6,231,000 were recorded). This means that 33.39% of households are "single" (compared to 27.34% in 2004). These are important figures which also have an impact on the real estate market, given that this is a large segment of the Italian population that feeds the rental, purchase and sale markets.
According to an analysis by Tecnocasa, 67.7% of singles who turn to their agencies have bought a property, whereas 32.3% have opted for the rental option. In particular, 33.5% of singles who bought properties were between 18 and 34 years old, 23.8% between 35 and 44 years old, followed by percentages progressively decreasing with increasing age.
Buying a house to live in or as an investment
If we have a closer look at the analysis of sales made in 2019, 28.7% were by single people (this category is composed of individuals who are single, separated/divorced and widowed). The percentage is very similar to that recorded the previous year, in the first half of 2018, when it stood at 28.0%. 81.4% of sales by singles concern the purchase of their main residence, 15.7% are investments and 2.9% opt to purchase holiday homes. Very similar percentages were also recorded the previous year.
At a national level, the most purchased type of property by single people is the three-bedroom apartment (37.4%), followed by two-bedroom apartments (34.0%), with four-bedroom apartments much less popular at 11.2%. Villas, cottages, lofts, detatched and semi-detached houses together make up 10.4% of purchases. The distribution of real estate transactions is substantially unchanged compared to a year ago, with a slight increase in the percentage of purchases of detatched and semi-detached properties rising from 9.4% to the current 10.4%.
Renting as a single
As far as the rental market is concerned, in 2019 61.4% of single tenants rented a house by choice, 33.8% for work reasons and 4.8% for study reasons. In 2018, this percentage was significantly lower and stood at 51.5%. This would confirm that the practice of renting is increasing among the single community in Italy, both because they may have increased difficulty in taking out a mortgage with only a single income and because it is becoming an attractive choice, (and no longer forced). This is especially true among younger people for whom the need for mobility, for their studies and work, is growing and living in a shared house is also becoming increasingly popular.