Buying property in Sicily
The spotlight this week is on Sicily. I shall be loading up a new
bulletin on the members' pages probably on tuesday with a short list of
some properties for sale in that beautiful island. I think you will be
pleasantly surprised at the prices. You dont have to spend more than
I have long been a fan of Southern Italy, where the climate is kind,
living is cheap and pleasant, and property prices are comfortably low.
I have not looked at the islands before, but have been asked by a
couple of you to do a spot of research. What I have found is good. I
have even decided to go and wander around the place for a month or so
next year to see whether I like it enough to buy a small ruin.
Italy, like so many countries in Europe, is going through a bad patch,
and places are cheap. they have always been cheap in the south of the
country, but Sicily has usually had a buoyant market. On the other
hand, there are building plots and ruins here which are going for less
than €50,000. There is even a house which needs finishing, within yards
of the sea which is on the market for €110,000. You could probably
offer €70k and start bargaining.
The town houses are a lot cheaper than one would usually pay for urban
properties in other countries, and there are many which are cheap
because they need a couple of months work.
I know I keep banging on about buying holiday homes, and how they are a
phenomenal waste of money, but if you are looking for somewhere to
live, then you need to look for a natural community not an artificial
one. Sicily provides an ideal place for this. There are the usual
swathes of tourist ghetto. They are mercifully easy to avoid, and you
should too if you are looking for bargains, and a proper Italian way of
The island isn't easy to get across because of the mountains. That
means access back to the UK, or anywhere else, is going to be difficult
if you are based some way from an international airport. There is a
large international airport in the north at Palermo, which is where I
first landed in Sicily many years ago on a flight from Tunis.
The other main international airport is at Catania. This serves the
east coast and the south-east corner of the island which is a very
attractive area of the island. I'm sure I remember enjoying the
green hillsides, the small hillside towns, and rocky little coves.
I would suggest that foreign buyers concentrate on areas not too far
from each of these centres. I cant help with results from test drives
because it is some time since I've been there, but I think that is one
of the things you will need to factor in to your search criteria.
I hope you join up and have a look at what is available, I think you
will be pleasantly surprised.