Buying a House in Lombardy, Italy: Useful Informations

Lombardy, Italy: a geographical and economic overview

23,844 square kilometers, i.e, 9,206 sq mi, of fertile verdant plains, hills and mountains. Lombardy, Italy, is located in the northwestern part of the peninsular boot and borders with Switzerland to the north (specifically Canton Ticino and Canton Graubünden) with the Italian regions Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto to the east, Emilia-Romagna to the south, and Piedmont to the west

Lombardy, Italy: the cities and the lakes

Lombardy’s towns and cities are lively, vibrant, productive hubs with a sense of style and an eye to tradition. Bergamo, Como, Cremona, Lodi, Mantua, Monza, Pavia and Brescia are among the most renowned. The capital is Milan, Italy’s only bona fide metropolis, a haven of spectacular architecture and sanctuary of world-class fashion and design.

Lombardy, Italy also boasts spectacular lakes, among which Italy’s largest, Lake Garda, and most fashionable and evocative, Lake Como.

Bellagio, Como, Italy town view on Lake Como at twilight.

Lombardy’s cities inhabitants: ingenious and success-driven

Housing some 10 million inhabitants, Lombardy, Italy is among the most productive and rich regions in il bel paese and brings in over 22% of the country’s overall GDP. Creativity, readiness, resourcefulness and work rate are indeed among the Lombards most distinctive traits, and efficiency is by no means restricted to Milan. All Lombardy’s cities, towns and districts, boast a dynamic work-focused success-driven energy that is nothing short of extraordinary.

Lombardy, Italy, is a showcase of entrepreneurial diversity

Every area, from rural to urban, has its own “specialty”. In Brianza, over 1700 specialized factories create and produce superior quality furniture. Franciacorta’s vintners invented the “metodo classico”, which yields unequaled sparkling wines. The best women’s stockings in the world are made in the surroundings of Mantua, Brescia is the capital of Italian caviar. And, while the plains of Lombardy, Italy produce over 35% of Italian cheese, and Cremona’s violin makers craft sensational violins and cellos, Como leads the way in silk textiles that are fit for a king.

Art and culture

Alongside vibrant productiveness, glossy fashion and cutting-edge design, Lombardy is also a veritable treasure chest of breathtakingly beautiful art. Indeed, few of the travelers that yearly visit Italy are aware that it houses more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other region in Italy! The range offered by Lombardy’s cultural legacy is truly stunning, and these precious sites – 10 in total – are of invaluable importance. There’s Leonardo’s mesmerizing Last Supper, in Milan, the Renaissance perfection of Mantua and Sabbioneta, the Paleolithic engravings in Val Camonica and much, much more in many of Lombardy’s cities.

Relocating: the best cities in Lombardy to live in

What does a town need to provide to be listed among the best cities in Lombardy? Plentiful work opportunities, and good salary rates (hence wealth). A diverse and far-reaching offer as regards leisure and culture, and well-honed public services.

Why Milan is one of the best cities in Lombardy

Those who choose to buy an apartment in Milan know that this lively city has it all. Meaning that it has the jobs, the transportation, the schools, the healthcare, and an astonishing number of restaurants, cafés, bars and gleaming boutiques. Plus, the city’s municipality shows an ever-increasing attention to sustainable living and eco-conscious policies, which translates into more parks and green areas, and less private traffic. No wonder that entrepreneurs and wealthy families are always looking for luxury real estate in Milan, Italy.

buy house in milan
Milan Cathedral or Duomo di Milano.

Buy an apartment in Milan Italy, one of the most liveable cities in the country

Milan’s self-evident assets have given it an edge over most Italian cities for years. This fast-paced avant-garde city ranked number one in the top most liveable cities in Italy list published by the Italian finance-focused Il Sole 24 Ore for 2018 and 2019, and 2nd (after Trieste) for 2021. And that was one year from the outbreak of COVID.

When the going gets tough

Yes, there’s no holding the Lombard cities’ energy, and even the dramatic pandemic-induced setback in 2020 didn’t manage to stop them. Lombardy, Italy, is back on its feet and rockin’, and many of the best cities in Lombardy are doing great too, according to Il Sole 24 Ore’s 2021 ranking on Italian cities and quality of life.

Looking to relocate? Take your pick among the best cities in Lombardy

With Milan coming in second, Monza sixth and a variety of other Lombard cities following (Brescia twelfth, Cremona twenty-fourth, Bergamo twenty-eighth, Varese twenty-ninth, Lecco thirtieth, Lodi thirty-sixth, Como fortieth, Sondrio forty-sixth, Mantua forty-eighth, Pavia sixty-sixth) Lombardy’s cities prove to be among the most interesting in Italy.

Top 5 most attractive cities in Lombardy

Aside from signature local products, Lombardy’s cities offer a pleasant, welcoming atmosphere, charming architecture and a distinctive appeal. Mantua, Bergamo, Brescia, Lodi and beautiful lakefront Como are certainly among those generally most beloved by foreigners.

An overview on the main features of the best cities in Lombardy

  • Mantua. Reign of the extravagant, glorious Gonzaga lords for over 400 years, and embraced by three shimmering lakes, this exquisite town is a true Italian jewel. Renaissance beauty and musical reminiscences fill it with charm and captivating vistas. 
  • Bergamo. Rooted in history, brimming with art, culture and tradition. Boasting a perfectly maintained, and spotless, UNESCO-listed Medieval historic center Bergamo is a small city with a distinctive character.
  • Brescia. Rising in the Alpine foothills, east of Milan, this pretty little town is definitely off-the-beaten-tourist track. Yet, it showcases artistic and cultural wonders that range from antiquity to the 1930s.
  • Como. Historic, charming and elegant. Endowed with a lake of its own, alongside splendid churches, refined streets, and top-notch restaurants, Europe’s capital of silk production is by far one of Lombardy’s prettiest cities.
  • Lodi. A dainty town in the verdant, if somewhat hazy, heart of the Po Valley. Renowned for its signature fine ceramics, woolen goods, beautiful wrought iron and delicious cheese, Lodi is also a historic town, rich in artistic marvels.

Houses for sale in Lombardy, Italy: why now may be the perfect time to buy

The best cities in Lombardy can be your best bet if you aim to relocate, or invest in property, and now may be the perfect time to do so. First and foremost because the range of houses for sale in Lombardy, Italy, is vast and diverse. Secondly, because prices are on the rise but have not yet reached the peak. Let’s look at the figures.

Houses for sale in Lombardy: current price ranges

The latest survey data published by Immobiliare.it, one of Italy’s leading real estate portals, reveals that the average price per square meter of residential properties for sale in Lombardy stood at €2,121, showing a significant increase (3.01%) compared to February 2021, when it was at €2,059 per square meter. Now, if we look at the data collected over the last 2 years, this is not the highest it can get: in fact, in November 2021 houses for sale in Lombardy Italy were sold at an average price of €2,123 per square meter.

lombardy real estate market
City Life district, Milan

Milan, Italy real estate: what the experts say

Needless to say, buying an apartment in Milan, Italy, or in its surroundings, is more expensive than choosing a dwelling in any other one of the best cities of Lombardy. Milan, Italy’s real estate market is definitely flourishing according to Immobiliare.it’s CEO Carlo Giordano, who in an interview to Il Giorno states “we believed that housing prices would hold out ever since the pandemic broke out. In addition to this, today houses are considered all the more important, and this is boosting the market. In fact, current forecasts confirm this trend will continue throughout 2022.”

All eyes on Milan real estate, says Century 21

Market trends aside, Milan appears to be one of the city’s that most attract foreign investors. Worldwide that is. Why is this? The answer is in a recent report by Century 21, the global network of real estate specialists, published by Milano Finanza. The report bases its evidence on a study carried out by PwC called “Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2022”. What the PwC study clearly shows is that investors are increasingly attentive to variables such as workforce, accessibility and mobility. And, as Marco Tilesi, co-founder and CEO of the Italian branch of Century 21, points out, they’re now attentive to inhabitants being immunized, i.e. vaccinated. Leading the way in all the above points, Milan stands out from the “crowd” of Italian cities and holds a respectable eleventh position in the ranking of the cities most attractive for international real estate investors.

Milan, Italy real estate prices in 2022

Let’s look at the figures on the Milan real estate market. As of January 2022, the average price for residential properties in Milan was €3.302 per square meter. A striking contrast with the sales prices in the province of Mantova (€1.103) or Cremona (€1.133), but not a surprising one. Indeed, Milan’s metropolitan area provides its inhabitants with a variety of advantages, and the international business flows add to its appeal both in terms of job opportunities and lifestyle.

Milan, Italy real estate prices: the forecast for 2023

Giordano’s company, Immobiliare.it, recently published a study that analyzed Italy’s major cities, 11, with the aim to predict the trend of price per square meter for the coming year. The forecast, as regards real estate in Milan, Italy is clear and straightforward: housing prices are on the rise, and bound to increase by another 4.2% within the end of 2022 and the beginnings of 2023. It is highly probable, the survey reports, that the cost per square meter of residential units in the city of Milan will hit €5.107 by December next.

2 excellent reasons to buy an apartment in Milan

All the above reported data proves that Milan real estate is, for the foreseeable future at least, a win-win investment. 

  1. First and foremost because of capital appreciation: surveys carried out between 1998 and Q2 2021 to analyze the trends in real estate evaluation in the largest Italian cities show Milan with the highest percentage, 107.7%, on an average revaluation of 38.2%.
  2. Secondly, because of the excellent rental opportunities: Milan is a fast-moving city, and the demand for rentals is never going to let an owner down.

Where to buy an apartment in Milan to rent it out

Yet, those who purchase property with the aim to rent it out are well aware that not all neighborhoods are the same. This is true in Milan as elsewhere, albeit with a piece of data which is at once counterintuitive and encouraging. A study carried out by the Tecnocasa Group and reported by MilanoToday, in fact, shows that the residential units that yield higher profits – calculated as the ratio between yearly rental fees and value of the property itself – are to be found in the suburbs and/or surroundings. Hence, in the areas around, not in, Milan city center, where, naturally, sales prices are lower.

monza milan italy real estate
Villa Reale, Monza.

A family’s dream come true

A family craving to relocate, on the other hand, might want to focus on the hillside, and select a period mansion with a park and a swimming pool, ar a more rural-style home, such as a former casa colonica (farmhouse), with a separate barn. Or, they might want to select a larger contemporary-style home in the city, such as a recently renovated penthouse in a 1970s building, or a townhouse on the premises of a magnificently refurbished post-industrial building.

Making profits in Milan with apartment rentals

What the Tecnocasa study reveals is that the highest yields are those of units located in the Vialba Amoretti and Forze Armate neighborhoods, with respectively 7.3% and 6.4% yearly turnover, and Sempione-Piazza Firenze, with 6%. Entrepreneurs and investors generally tend to focus on university and office neighborhoods, or areas that have been recently refurbished and provide a lot of services. Today’s farsighted investors are looking at the areas of Porta Venezia, San Siro, Bocconi, Viale Padova and Maciachini, all extremely promising for the future

Let’s take a look at the prices of the Milan real estate market by neighborhoods.

Milan DistrictsCost €/m²
Cost €/m²
Trend compared to January 2021Neighborhood characteristics
City Center 9.56725,70+ 2,50%Nightlife, Residential, Parks, Art
Garibaldi, Moscova, Porta Nuova8.69624,95+ 1,46%Business, Nightlife, Design District
Arco della Pace, Arena, Pagano 8.17822,59+ 6,06%Parks, University, Art
Genova, Ticinese 7.21721,23+ 0,95%Nightlife
Quadronno, Palestro, Guastalla 7.82223,35– 0,47%University, Parks
Navigli, Bocconi 5.90220,17+ 3,07%Nightlife
Porta Romana, Cadore, Montenero6.29919,52+ 3,76%Residential, Art
Porta Venezia, Indipendenza6.93020,65+ 5,72%Design district, Nightlife
Centrale, Repubblica6.06320,06+ 4,37%Art
Cenisio, Sarpi, Isola5.86319,87+ 4,68%Design District
Fiera, Sempione, City Life, Portello6.10619,49+3,86%Parks, Residential
Solari, Washington6.40719,36+ 3,93%Design District
San Siro, Trenno3.44815,14+ 4,17%Parks
Precotto, Turro, Viale Padova3.61315,81+ 5,61%Multi-ethnic
Bicocca, Niguarda3.26215,16+ 5,02%University
Data taken from Immobiliare.it

The lakes of Lombardy: quintessential Italy

Evocative, poetic, and somewhat glamorous, There’s nothing standard, nothing basic, nothing down-to-earth about the lakes of Lombardy. And nothing upsetting, hassling or annoying about living in a village, town or rural area on a lake shore in Lombardy.

How many lakes are there in Lombardy?

A lot! Yes, everyone knows about Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, but Lombardy also houses other equally alluring, albeit less famous, lakes. Among these the Lake Iseo, Lake Endine, Lake Idro and the lakes surrounding Varese: Monate, Comabbio and Varese.

Lake Como villa rentals: a business that will never go out of style

This said, what most lake-loving foreigners dream about is vacationing, or relocating, to Lake Como. Villa rentals abound, and both the exquisite city of Como and the famed lakefront towns, such as Bellagio, Varenna, Cernobbio and Tremezzo offer postcard-perfect iconically Italian beauty as far as your eyes can see.

Find a Lake Como villa for sale and relocate

It comes as no surprise that some of the world’s most celebrated (and chased after) VIPs and movie stars choose this heavenly spot for their vacations. Picking Lake Como’s tree-framed lakeside roads, small villages, or countryside for one’s home is no doubt a wonderful decision.

We summarize below the real estate market information of the most important cities in Lombardy with their respective economies of production.

Lombardy citiesCost €/m²
Cost €/m²
Trend compared to January 2021Typical productionLocation
Milano4.95819,10+ 4.44%Fashion / Art / Tourism / Technology / FinanceLowland
Mantova1.415 7,84+ 5,28%ArtLowland
Cremona 1.2396,68+ 0,81%Lute makerLowland
Bergamo 2.31910,17+ 5,17%Food and engineering sector. Art.Hill
Varese 1.6289,21+ 3,17%Wickerwork. Cheese and automotive production.Lake
Bellagio29486,47+ 18,01%TourismLake
Varenna3.7557,51+ 9,57%TourismLake
Cernobbio4.12011,77+ 4,10%Silver productionLake
Tremezzo3.5586,47+ 1,14%TourismLake
Monate1.1637,56– 6,36%TourismLake
Comabbio1.2057,63– 6,23%TourismLake
Como2.73212,08+ 8,71%Textile manufacturing / Tourism.Lake
Lodi1.7268,91+ 1,47%Dairy / Ceramics / TourismLowland
Monza2.46511,31+ 9,22%furniture production / Art / TourismLowland
Pavia2.1299,19+ 2,36%Food industry (rice)Lowland
Brescia1.8019,31+ 0,73%Viticulture / Engineering sector / TourismLake
Data taken from Immobiliare.it

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