As a single person, is it best to buy or rent a house in Italy in 2020?

What are the real estate trends when it comes to single Italians? There are various options for those who live alone in Italy.

30 September 2020, Redaction

Do Italian singles prefer to buy a house or rent one? And what are the best options for single people thinking of moving to Italy? Tecnocasa's Study Office has taken a look at the housing trends of those who live alone in Italy.

An analysis of the purchases and leases made by singles in the first half of 2020 shows an increase in the propensity to buy, from 62.7% a year ago to 67.6% today, in many cases due to mortgage help available for first time buyers; while only 32.4% of Italian singles opted for renting.

Property purchases and sales in Italy by singles, (a category that includes not only single and unmarried individuals, but also those who are divorced, separated and widowed) represent 29.5% of the total transactions carried out in the first half of the year. This is a slight increase compared to 28.5% a year ago and 28.0% in 2017. In large cities this figure stands at 34.3%.

At a national level, the most popular typology purchased by singles is the three-room apartment (37.3%), followed by the two-room apartment (33.2%), with the four-room apartments coming in at 11.4%. Villas, cottages, lofts, detached and semi-detached houses together make up 11.1% of purchases.

Compared to the first half of 2019, there was a slight increase in the percentage of purchases of detached and semi-detached properties from 10.4% to the current 11.1%. In large cities, on the other hand, singles mainly buy two-room apartments (42.7%).

In Italy 34.9% of singles who have bought through Tecnocasa Group agencies are between 18 and 34 years of age, 22.4% are between 35 and 44 years of age, 20% are between 45 and 54 years of age, followed by percentages that gradually decrease as age increases.

83% of purchases and sales by singles in Italy concern the purchase of the main residence, 14.1% are investments and 2.9% are holiday homes. Compared to a year ago, the percentage of purchases for investment purposes decreased from 15.7% to the current 14.1%. The reduction in investment purchases is however a generalised phenomenon that also affects families, as it is one of the consequences of the COVID-19 health emergency that has slowed down this type of purchase.

As far as the rental market for singles in Italy is concerned, 67.9% of single tenants rented a house by choice, 28.4% for work and 3.7% for study-related reasons. Compared to a year ago, there was a reduction in the percentage of properties rented out to workers and students, which stood at 33.8% and 4.8% respectively. In this case, the numbers also highlight the consequences of the pandemic on the property market, particularly on the rental market, which has suffered a severe blow due to the temporary closure of universities and the prolonged period of smart working.

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