Home hunt in Italy: transparent floors in Milan for $ 1.8 million

This three-bedroom loft-style townhouse is located in Porta Venezia, a multicultural neighborhood known for its art nouveau and neoclassical architecture, near central Milan, the epicenter of finance and fashion in Italy.

The three-level, 3,552-square-foot home was converted in the 1990s from a workshop in the backyard of an early-20th-century apartment building, with 15-foot ceilings and large panels of glass placed between the beams of its wooden plank floors. upstairs and downstairs.

“The idea is to give the loft a floating atmosphere and light,” said Diletta Giorgolo, residential sector manager for Italy Sotheby’s International Realty, which owns the list. A heated swimming pool and spa in the basement are visible through the glass on the ground floor.

“It’s not a typical family home,” Ms. Giorgolo added. “It’s more for a couple of artists or architects or fashion people.”

Entrance is through the main building, which has 14 apartments. The downstairs living room has curving walls on either side of a floor-to-ceiling frosted mullioned central window. Opposite the room, a discreet sitting area with fireplace is located under the second-floor mezzanine, with transparent ceilings. The sofa, the fireplace and a sculpture by Igor Mitoraj, a Polish artist, are included in the sale.

The kitchen has wood cabinetry and a refrigerator obscured by matching cabinetry, and the curved countertop is cement encrusted glass. A powder room and a utility / utility room are adjacent to the kitchen.

A wooden staircase with open steps and a glass balustrade leads to the attic and the master bedroom, which has a mirrored wall behind the bed and a walk-in closet. The glazed floors make the living room visible below. A semicircular balcony with a curved metal railing and horizontal balustrades overlooks the living room.

Access to the other two bedrooms, both with private bathrooms, is through the master bedroom. Each has a closet and a bathroom with a shower. The third bedroom is currently converted into an office.

The basement, down a wooden staircase, has teak flooring and a vaulted brick ceiling. Beyond the pool and spa is a sauna with a transparent ceiling, a shower and a relaxation area.

The apartment is located on Via San Gregorio, an avenue lined with ethnic restaurants, small shops and a bohemian atmosphere. Around the corner is Corso Buenos Aires, with more than 350 clothing stores making it Italy’s longest shopping street. Porta Venezia, the historic gateway to the city from which the district takes its name, is a few blocks away, as are Milan Central Station and the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli, a large municipal park that houses the Natural History Museum . Milan Malpensa airport is approximately 45 minutes by car.

Milan, the capital of Italy’s northern Lombardy region, is one of the country’s most expensive housing markets. The residential landscape ranges from venerable palaces with elegant facades to villas and townhouses with hidden gardens. The apartments located in bohemian enclaves are inside the medieval city walls. But new construction is changing the face of the city, even as the pandemic has slowed the market for it.

“The new developments take the city to another stage, much appreciated by international buyers who can find international schools, expatriate communities and buildings with facilities,” Ms. Giorgolo said.

In the transformed Porta Nuova district, a former industrial area, trees and plants cover the terraces of Bosco Verticale, a two-tower skyscraper powered by solar energy. Nearby, on the historic city’s former fairgrounds, CityLife’s mixed-use redevelopment district features a winding apartment complex with seven five- to 13-story buildings and a 44-story twisted tower designed by Zaha Hadid , among other attractions.

The Milanese market “has been growing steadily, especially since 2016,” said Arianna Giovanni, Marketing Manager at Lionard Luxury Real Estate. During the pandemic, sales continued with video property tours and contracts signed by proxy, she said, although “inventories have declined significantly.”

“It was very difficult to find penthouses with good terraces,” she said. “People now mainly want properties with outdoor space. This includes villas beyond the city limits which are within commuting distance of the city center, as well as “self-sufficient country estates”.

At the top of the market, prices for upscale two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments and villas range from 1.3 million to 8 million euros ($ 1.49 million to $ 9.1 million), said Ms. Giovanni, depending on the condition of the unit, the building, the location and the presence of outdoor spaces.

In the first quarter of 2021, some 6,000 sales were recorded in Milan, “proof of the recovery of the Italian real estate market“, Ms. Giorgolo said. “It was even higher than in the pre-Covid era. According to internal Sotheby’s data, the median price of properties sold so far this year is around 2.5 million euros ($ 2.86 million). noted.

In Centro, the city’s historic center and the city’s most expensive neighborhood, a buyer could expect to pay nearly 9,400 euros per square meter ($ 1,000 per square foot) in September 2021, data shows. of the Statista.com market and consumer data portal.

Antonio Zagaroli, Managing Director of Knight Frank Italia, noted that property prices in Milan rose by more than 10% from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. “However, in 2021, price growth appears to be slowing down, because the annual growth recorded in the first half of the year is 2.6 percent, ”he said, citing data from the Knight Frank Global Residential Cities Index.

Mr Zagaroli expects the market “to be bullish over the next three to four years” potentially supported by the planned 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan. Plans call for the former Porta Romana marshalling yard to be recreated into an eco-friendly mixed-use area for the Games, with the athlete’s accommodation then turned into affordable student accommodation, while the Olympic Village would become a autonomous district.

An annual flat tax of 100,000 euros ($ 114,459), instituted in 2016, helps attract wealthy foreigners with annual incomes of over 250,000 euros ($ 286,000), particularly from Europe and Asia , who declare Italy as their primary residence, Zagaroli said.

And foreign retirees are considering a tax bait, introduced in July 2020, guaranteeing 7% income tax for 10 years on income generated abroad, including pensions, rental income, annuities and other benefits. “We have sold more throughout Italy because of the flat tax,” Ms. Giorgolo said, and she expects “a lot more” in sales next year, provided there is no new variant of Covid.

In 2020, most of the buyers were Italians “due to travel restrictions caused by Covid-19,” Ms Giorgolo said. As travel bans have been lifted, that has changed.

“From the Far West to the Far East, we’ve seen customers from the most unexpected parts of the world these days,” Ms. Giovanni said, including Australia and Taiwan.

Alessandro Riboni, Managing Director of Knight Frank Italia, said many people are leaving Paris and London because “the quality of life is very high in Milan”, with the seaside, mountains and lakes within two hours. .

There are no restrictions on foreign ownership in Italy. The closing is carried out by a neutral notary, chosen and paid by the buyer. A lawyer is not needed if buyers are buying as a private person and not moving their residence to Italy, Ms Giorgolo said.

Stamp duties, brokerage fees and notary fees total between 7 and 9% on top of the purchase price.

A new construction or property recently renovated by a developer incurs a value-added tax of 10% or 22%, raising the closing costs to 16-29% on top of the purchase price, Ms. Giovanni said.

Accessing finance can be difficult, said Ms. Giovanni. “The fact that their main source of income is abroad represents a risk for our banks, due to the regulations in force,” she said.

Italian; euro (1 euro = $ 1.15)

The monthly maintenance fee is 300 euros ($ 341).

Property taxes range from 0.4% to 0.7% of tax value, depending on location and type of property, Ms. Giorgolo said.

If the townhouse is purchased as a first residence, the buyer would pay a stamp duty of 6,000 euros ($ 6,890). If purchased as a second home, the stamp duty or purchase tax is around 31,000 euros ($ 35,600), Ms. Giorgolo said.

Diletta Giorgolo, Italy Sotheby’s International Realty, 011-39-333-677-6473; sothebysrealty.com

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