Sicily: the ultra-Italian experience
Shimmering seas, volcanos, mountains and sun-drenched harbors. Elegant palm-fringed cities crowned by Arab pinnacles and domes, and towns graced by mesmerizing Baroque cathedrals. And then again vineyards, orchards, and silent cobble-paved villages where women still sit outside their doors, sewing.
Iconically Italian in its warmth, colors, and flavors, Sicily possesses an intensity of character that makes it unique among all other Italian regions.
Extraordinary landscapes and a heritage like no other
Boasting an incredibly diverse natural environment, including mountain tops, cliffsides, and black, white and golden beaches, Sicily also carries a historical and artistic legacy that is nothing short of incredible. Its cities, archeological sites and fascinating towns are awash with vestiges of many ancient civilizations, from the Phoenicians and Greeks to the Normans and Arabs, and more recent artistic and architectural masterpieces. There’s nothing ordinary or bland about Sicily: its quintessential Italian features are enhanced and beautified with vivid, dramatic, earnest indigenous traits.
The Sicilian house dream
Dreaming of a beachfront vacation house in Sicily? Fancy waking up before the bright blue sea, having breakfast outdoors caressed by the scent of oranges, balmy sea wind, and rustling palm trees… Everyone has been moonstruck by the dream of a house in Sicily at least once in a lifetime, and rightfully so.
Should I buy or rent a house in Sicily?
Should I rent or buy a house in Sicily? Virtually all those who have dreamt of spending time in a house in Sicily, including VIPs, have asked themselves if they should rent or buy a house in Sicily. It is indeed a key question, and the answer wholly depends on the aim of the investment. If you’re looking to relocate and make the quintessential Italian island your home, or make a profitable investment, you’ll probably want to buy a house in Sicily. If, on the other hand, your goal is enjoying a holiday, you may want to focus on renting.
A myriad of great opportunities to buy or rent a house in Sicily
Thankfully, as of today, options are countless and extremely diverse. In fact, the Sicilian real estate market also provides more cost-effective options that are, in their style and location, just as appealing. There are a variety of apartments and homes for sale in Mondello, Sicily, for instance, located within the pretty historic center and/or just a few steps away from the famous white beach. Rising a mere 11 km away from Palermo, the island capital, and its beautiful theaters and art galleries, Mondello can be a wonderful place to own or rent a house in Sicily.
Sicily housing market: all you need to know to make a profitable deal
Mondello, Palermo’s “beach” as the locals call it, is just an example. Yes, because the whole island boasts a variety of truly intriguing cities and towns. Knowing the facts about population and attractions can definitely help a prospective investor, or tenant, select the right place in Sicily for a real estate enterprise. Hence, let’s go straight into detail.
Sicily real estate: the main cities
Sicily’s largest, and most populated, cities are:
- Palermo, Sicily’s palm-clothed flamboyant capital, with 674.435 inhabitants (259.733 families)
- Catania, the Baroque beauty crowned by Mount Etna, with a population of 314.555 and a total 136.177 families
- Messina, the island’s main harbor and gateway to continental Italy, with 238.439 inhabitants and a little less than 100.000 families
- Siracusa, brimming with ancient Greek ruins and superb cathedrals, with a population of 122.291 and 49.789 families
Endowed with an extraordinary cultural heritage, superbly beautiful landscapes, and artistic treasures, these four cities are singularly magnetic and filled with fascinating things to experience and admire. Needless to say, Sicily’s real estate opportunities in these lively cities are varied and seductive.
Sicily housing market: the most enchanting medium-sized towns
Sicily’s other larger cities, as per size and inhabitants, are Marsala, welcoming and picturesque, Gela, an industrial hub graced by spectacular ancient Greek ruins, and Ragusa, a modern city with a Baroque heart in its historic center. Then come medium-sized, but extremely attractive towns like Agrigento, gateway to the famous valley of the temples. Modica, the exquisite church-studded town embraced by a lyrical countryside and kingdom of artisan-crafted chocolate. And Acireale, nestled between the citrus groves and the sea near Catania.
|Jan 2014||Jan 2022|
|Average Purchase Price||€2.841 PSM||€2.437 PSM|
|Average Rental Home Price||€10.10 PSM/monthly||€12.30 PSM/monthly|
Real estate for sale: current scenario of the Sicily housing market
What an investor really needs, aside from knowing which the major cities are and what their most characteristic features are, is to gain an understanding of what the current housing market trends in Sicily are. So, let’s focus on Sicilian real estate looking at the prices per square meter, and first and foremost the average selling price. As reported by Italy’s leading real estate portal Immobiliare.it, the average sales price demanded for residential units in February 2022 stood at €1.120 per square meter, showing a decrease of 3.53% compared to February 2021, when it was €1.161 per square meter.
Sicily real estate for sale – prices per square meter in the different provinces
This figure was just slightly above the average reached in January last, when it was €1.119 per square meter. The data referring to the single provinces and municipalities is even more enlightening: in fact, this can give an investor a valuable indication of where it is most worthwhile to buy.
As of February 2022, the highest prices per square meter were demanded for properties for sale in Palermo, Sicily: the average price for dwellings in this province was €1.234 per square meter. Palermo was followed by:
- Messina – €1.209 per square meter
- Catania – €1.151 per square meter
- Siracusa – €1.082 per square meter
- Trapani – €1.036 per square meter
The lowest prices were instead those for houses in Sicily in the provinces of:
- Ragusa – €979
- Agrigento – €885 per square meter
- Enna – €839
- Caltanissetta – €710 per square meter
The Palermo province
Yet, if we look at the various municipalities pertaining to the Palermo province, there are enormous differences. Residential real estate in Cefalù, Sicily, registered a record cost of €2.422 per square meter, properties for sale in the Palermo municipality (including homes for sale in Mondello, Sicily) went for €1.316, and in the Isola delle Femmine and Lascari municipalities they stood, respectively, at €1.397 and €1.295. As per Bagheria, Sicily, real estate prices per square meter in February 2022 stood at €907 per square meter. The lowest prices per square meter in the province were registered in the municipalities of Geraci Siculo, €491, and in those of Gratteri and Isnello both €438. Definitely among the lowest in Sicily.
Properties for sale in Palermo, Sicily: what happened in 2021
The Giornale di Sicilia recently published extremely interesting data on Sicily’s housing market. The information was collected by the Italian research and consulting company Nomisma, in the third edition of the Observatory on the Real Estate Market and refers to property purchases and sales in Palermo in 2021. Q1 2021 showed a remarkable boom of transactions and an increase in the general trend of +42%. The figures, in fact, showcase a reviving momentum: the number of successful transactions was the highest in the last twelve years. Price-wise, however, the negative trend started in the year 2000 still holds: today’s prices per square meter are still lower than they were at the dawn of the millennium.
Houses for sale in Catania, Sicily – data on the prices per square meter in the province
In the province of Catania, property sales prices stood at an average of €1.151 per square meter in February 2022, and showed a remarkable difference between the different municipalities. Residential units were most expensive in the Aci Castello municipality, €1.757 and Aci Bonaccorsi €1.625. As per houses for sale in Catania, Sicily’s volcanic Baroque queen, sales prices were slightly lower, €1.232 per square meter. The lowest sales prices, respectively €511 and €509 were in the municipalities of Licodia Eubea, Mazzarrone and Raddusa.
Houses for sale in Messina, Sicily
As regards houses for sale in the Messina province, there are significant differences between the municipalities: in the central municipality the price per square meter in February 2022 was €1.406, while in the areas of Castanea, Masse and Gesso it was €714.
Real estate in Siracusa, Sicily, Italy
The province of Siracusa boasts some of the island’s most spectacular views. Villas, homes and houses are no less fascinating, and the market trends look promising. In February 2022, average prices per square meter for residential real estate in Siracusa, Sicily, Italy stood at €1.082 showing a decrease of 0,64% compared to the same month in 2021. Needless to say, Noto, Sicily, is very popular for real estate investments, and prices, € 1.379 per square meter, mirror its fame and beauty. Houses for sale in Ortigia Sicily are also on many investors’ wish list, and, again, costs definitely show it: € 1.943. Real estate in Pachino Sicily is medium-priced, at € 907 per square meter, while the lowest prices for houses were registered in the municipality of Buccheri: €486 per square meter.
2021 prices trends reveal a decrease of 3.7% compared to 2020
Looking at both the price trends and the actual successful transaction data, 2022 and 2023 appear to be the perfect time to find great houses for sale in Sicily. The latest information published by the QDS.it portal reveals a significant standstill in purchases and sales in the year 2021. It looks as if the islanders are considering to rent forever, experts say and, the average prices requested by Sicilian vendors have dropped by 3.7% compared to 2020. The stock of unsold homes has increased by 39% in just one year…In a nutshell? A lot of houses for sale in Sicily, and good bargains too.
Best places for your real estate investment in Sicily
The beaches, the Baroque heritage, the countryside, the orchards, and the harbors. All cities and areas of this beautiful island have something special, and all houses in Sicily have their own distinctive allure. This said some provinces boast more attractions than others and a wider selection of homes.
Houses for sale in Catania Sicily, and other marvelous areas
In the Val di Noto and city of Catania, the properties available are extraordinary and lie embraced by unrivaled artistic jewels and architectural grandeur. As property for sale in Sicily goes, Ragusa, with its evocative streets and haunting ancient vestiges, is no less bewitching. The provinces of Siracusa and Agrigento, with their incredible ruins, are also spectacular: especially the picturesque houses for sale in Ortigia, Sicily.
Houses for sale in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily
Some areas of Sicily, and their seafront homes, remain forever alluring. This is the case of the houses for sale in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, and the epical place where they rise. As the legend goes ancient Segesta, in the province of Trapani, was founded by the Trojans, and the seafront town that rises on its premises today is a delightful place. Houses for sale in Castellammare del Golfo will hardly go out of fashion, and the price per square meter shows it: in February 2022 they hit €1.589 per square meter, while the provincial average stood at €1.036.
Luxury real estate in Sicily
Beloved by travelers, sea-lovers, and those who appreciate the sunshine, colors, and scents, Sicily has also become immensely popular among VIPs and Hollywood stars. Island-passion is definitely on the rise, and several celebrities have declared themselves smitten with its vistas, and are looking for houses in Sicily. They usually find them too, seeing as Sicily boasts spectacular luxury real estate opportunities.
Dolce and Gabbana’s house in Sicily is for sale
Needless to say, what the glitterati are after is luxury, and there are countless breathtakingly beautiful houses in Sicily that meet their expectations. Dolce and Gabbana’s house in Sicily, an amazing seafront villa in Stromboli, and the opulent houses for sale in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily are definitely among the most glamorous currently on the market.
Best places to invest in luxury real estate in Sicily
Alongside Stromboli and the other Aeolian islands, especially Pantelleria, the places that celebrities flock to in Sicily are the little island of Marettimo, in the Egadi archipelago, the town, and surroundings of Taormina, the city of Palermo, and the area around the city of Ragusa. All these areas offer superb hotels, restaurants, and a variety of different kinds of luxury real estate options.
|Luxury location||Cost per sqm||Trend compared to February 2021|
|Stromboli||2.365 €/m²||– 0,84%|
|Pantelleria||2.779 €/m²||+ 3,93%|
|Egadi||3.168 €/m²||+ 7,98%|
|Taormina||2.893 €/m²||+ 1,58%|
Create your own Sicilian paradise retreat
Some mansions and villas are already rigged out to a T, but investors on the lookout for opulence and perfection generally prefer creating richness to their liking. And that’s exactly what makes Sicily extraordinary: one can purchase a centuries-old tonnara, or a wind-swept dammuso, (like Giorgio Armani did) and turn it into a seafront oasis. Or buy a masseria farmhouse in the quiet hills near Ragusa, and restore it to its ancient splendor, or choose a townhouse in Palermo and refurbish it creating a heavenly Sicilian dwelling. Discover our Property Finder service in Italy
Here is a summary of the locations in Sicily and their price per smq.
|Province||City||Cost per sqm||Trend compared to February 2021|
|Palermo||Palermo||1.316 €/m²||– 1,50%|
|Cefalù||2.422 €/m²||– 3,16 %|
|Campofelice di Roccella||1.679 €/m²||+ 0,18 %|
|Castelbuono||968 €/m²||+ 8,16 %|
|Cinisi||951 €/m²||+ 0,74 %|
|Catania||Catania||1.232 €/m²||– 1,75 %|
|Aci Castello||1.757 €/m²||+ 1,56%|
|Aci Bonaccorsi||1.625 €/m²||– 5,69%|
|Licodia Eubea||511 €/m²||– 12,35 %|
|Mazzarrone||511 €/m²||– 12,50 %|
|Raddusa||509 €/m²||– 11,94 %|
|Messina||Messina||1.066 €/m²||– 4,48 %|
|Castanea, Masse, Gesso||714 €/m²||– 8,93%|
|Faro, Ganzirri, Sant’Agata||1.310 €/m²||+ 3,64%|
|Mortelle, Spartà, San Saba||998 €/m²||– 1,67%|
|Siracusa||Siracusa||1.196 €/m²||– 1,08%|
|Noto||1.379 €/m²||+ 8,07%|
|Ortigia||1.943 €/m²||– 9,71%|
|Pachino||907 €/m²||– 0,44%|
|Buccheri||486 €/m²||– 6,54%|
|Agrigento||Agrigento||962 €/m²||– 0,72%|
|Menfi||1.414 €/m²||+ 9,36%|
|Palma di Montechiaro||722 €/m²||– 5,62%|
|Ribera||990 €/m²||+ 62,56%|
|Realmonte||996 €/m²||+ 57,84%|
If you want to have more information bout the purchase and sale process in Italy, read this page.