Tuscany

The ultimate guide to buying a house in Tuscany, Italy

Contents

Welcome!

Tuscany: 8,880 sq mi of beauteous landscapes, including an archipelago of splendid small and large islands, handsome cities filled with world-class art, and superb UNESCO Heritage Sites. Plus, marvelous wine and food. No wonder, real estate in Tuscany, Italy is so sought after!

Saturnia thermal baths- (Photo by Gianluca Colombi da Pexels)

The pros of Tuscany for real estate investments

Graced by a pleasant climate, congenial lifestyle, and outstanding beauty throughout, Tuscany has forever held a special place in the collective imagination of travelers. It comes as no surprise that the whole region, from the vineyard-clad hills of Chianti and Val d’Orcia to Versilia’s glossy vacation villas, has long been a front-runner in the thoughts of discerning investors.

Houses for rent in Tuscany Italy will never go out of style

Houses for sale in Tuscany boast a distinctive appeal that makes them particularly attractive to prospective foreign buyers, especially those who aim to make a long-term investment. In fact, the region’s kaleidoscopic heritage and stirring scenery, its mountains, countryside, and coastline, are known to lure visitors from all over the world: one is bound to find clients who want to rent a house in Tuscany.

In Tuscany, real estate turns into great business

Allure aside, purchasing real estate in Tuscany has always been a potentially rewarding business venture inasmuch as it can, when properly handled, yield extremely fruitful results. Over the ten years before the pandemic hit, the demand for houses for rent in Tuscany has always ensured that a suitably-located property would have its constant share of vacation tenants. Profits could also be easily drawn from long-term rental properties in Tuscany, and many hospitality-oriented entrepreneurs chose to establish a hotel-type business, agriturismo, i.e. a farm-holiday facility, or B&B.

Houses for sale in Tuscany: what happened in 2021?

Needless to say, the worldwide financial crisis and temporary hold-up in tourism flows, generated by the global pandemic, created an unwanted hiatus in all economic transactions. Yet, as regards the housing market in Tuscany, the time-off was brief and relatively dramatic. Studies, in fact, show a significant increase in successful real estate transactions in all Tuscan provinces, except for the Arezzo area, starting from the first quarter of 2021.

Why buy property in Tuscany Italy in 2022-2023

As the overall global financial situation shows signs of slowly improving, new and unforeseen circumstances come into view, and make buying property in Italy, especially Tuscany, all the more attractive to foreign investors. Let’s give a look at what has changed. Analyzing the purchase and sales data as regards residential real estate in Tuscany over the last 8 years, there are two pieces of information that immediately catch the eye. Specifically: the average trends of sales prices, and the average trends of rental prices. No doubt that now is a good time to buy here!

Average trends in sales prices (per square meter) for real estate in Tuscany, Italy

Data taken from: immobiliare.it

There’s nothing like straightforward data to get a clear picture of what is, and has been, going on. So here we go with the figures. In the month of January 2014, the average purchase price – considering all types of residential properties throughout the whole of Tuscany – was €2.841 per square meter, Ever since then, sales prices have been sharply declining and the latest data, which refers to January 2022, shows them standing at €2.437.

Hills in Valdorcia (Foto di Yang Hao da Pexels)

Average trends in rental prices (per square meter) for real estate in Tuscany, Italy

On the other hand, the trends in average rental prices display a completely opposite scenario. Again, let s see the actual numbers. In January 2014, the average price per square meter for the rental of a house in Tuscany stood at €10.10 per square meter per month. Since then, and notwithstanding the pandemic-generated crisis, monthly rental fees have been gradually, but steadily, increasing thanks to the evident development of the tourism industry and, also, due to the general attractiveness of the area for commercial enterprises. The most recent data, firm January 2022, shows rental homes prices per square meter per month in Tuscany at €12.30.

Jan 2014Jan 2022
Average Purchase Price€2.841 PSM€2.437 PSM
Average Rental Home Price€10.10 PSM/monthly€12.30 PSM/monthly
Source: Immobiliare.it

The bottom line: there’s no time like now to buy property in Tuscany

What it all adds up to is that, though sales prices for residential properties in Tuscany are seeing a momentary increase, they are significantly lower than 8 years ago. And that, meanwhile, rental homes prices are still on the rise and show no signs of abating. Hence, the bottom line is that discerning foreign investors should definitely seize the opportunity, and focus on finding the ideal property for sale in Tuscany.

Buy real estate in Tuscany Italy and relocate

History shows that many of the world’s cities, their landscapes and the habits of their inhabitants have been forged by illness. Case in point: London’s beautiful embankments and the tree-fringed boulevards of Paris were built after the horrific mid-1800s cholera epidemic. As regards modern man, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the pandemic, and consequent lockdowns, it’s that we need to live in comfortable quality homes. And, possibly, in wholesome surroundings.

The appeal of an estate in Tuscany

As life in a buzzing, crowded city looks less attractive by the day, and remote work remains a valid option, many choose to relocate. From this point of view, Tuscany’s ample valleys, rolling hills, small manicured towns, and country homes are a welcome beacon of health, beauty and hope.

Houses for sale in Tuscany, Italy: state-of-the-art

Hope and optimism, actually, say the experts of Immobiliare.it, one of Italy’s leading real estate portals. The recently published data on market trends, in fact, reveals a dynamic scenario that is bound to appeal to far-sighted foreign investors, seeing as there is a slight decrease in prices per square meter. Let’s look at the figures: as of January 2022, the average price of houses for sale in Tuscany, Italy was equal to €2,437 per square meter, meaning it decreased by 0.04% compared to January 2021, when it was €2,438 per square meter.

Tax benefits: exemption from IMU property tax

But purchasing real estate, whether it’s a house in Tuscany or elsewhere, always involves a considerable investment. Yet, buying property in Tuscany can offer significant advantages compared to investing in real estate in other countries. First and foremost, Italian fiscal legislation maintains that proprietors who designate the asset they own as their main residence are not subject to property tax (IMU).

Renovation bonus

Also, prospective foreign buyers may be interested in reaping the benefits of the 110% Superbonus on home renovations. This relatively recent fiscal measure was introduced to boost the Italian economy while promoting eco-friendly development.

How the Italian Ecobonus works

What it is? Basically, a tax credit for the expenses incurred to implement a house’s energy efficiency – for instance heating and/or insulation and/or air conditioning – and decrease seismic risk. All Italians and foreigners who own real estate in Italy are eligible for the bonus, and it applies to a maximum of 2 properties per owner.

Renovation and upgrading of the historical heritage: current legislation fosters the quality of life in Tuscan city centers

Last, but definitely not least, there is yet another exceptional advantage and one that sets Tuscany apart from other attractive areas of Italy as concerns buying property. In fact, a recently issued regional decree establishes that the local government shall, starting in 2021 and throughout 2023, be entitled to significant funds aimed at restoring, upgrading, renovating, and enhancing those buildings and premises that belong to the local historical heritage. In a nutshell? Buying property in a Tuscan city means you can count on having a dwelling in a well-maintained, carefully groomed environment.

Villa Il Pavone, Siena – Wikimedia

Tuscany’s private estates

Buying real estate in Tuscany, Italy, and renovating it to one’s liking is many a traveler’s dream: well, the Ecobonus can definitely lend a hand and turn it into reality. Truth be told, the golden farmhouses, Renaissance-style villas, period mansions and estates of Tuscany are among the most beautiful dwellings worldwide. Many are veritable masterpieces of architecture, and have a priceless cultural and historical prestige. Plus, luxury properties in Tuscany are generally located in areas of the utmost beauty.

Demand for luxury property in Tuscany is soaring

Buyers are starting to realize how wonderful estate properties in Tuscany are, according to the promising data that comes from Great Estate, the network of international real estate agencies specialized in villas, luxury farmhouses, hamlets and castles. In 2021, the network deftly handled 102 successful transactions, equal to 125% more than in 2020, with a total turnover of 85 million euros. 47 out of 102 properties sold are in Tuscany, specifically: 22 in the surroundings of Siena, 13 in the Arezzo area, 9 in the Grosseto province, 2 in the Livorno province, and 1 in the city of Florence.

Types of luxury properties offered under the Tuscan Sun

What do these incredible Tuscan luxury properties look like? Is there a particular kind of mansion typical of Tuscany? Truth be told, there are many: countless different types of houses for sale in Tuscany are listed as “luxury dwellings”, all actually depends on what one is looking for, on what your personal idea of Tuscan luxury is, and on what your aim is. 

A dwelling in the Cradle of the Renaissance

Those who thrive on Florence’s art, culture and heritage, and are looking to buy real estate that showcases Renaissance gentility and grandeur, could go for an elegant master apartment in the Santo Spirito neighborhood or on the banks of the Arno river, or on a be-frescoed one in Santa Croce.

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.

Tuscan wine country and its beautiful houses

Wanna-be vintners and wine connoisseurs will probably wish to find a haven surrounded by vineyards, like a historical Villa in Chianti, a farmhouse in the Valdarno, or a mansion in the Siena hills.

Luxury properties: average prices updated February 2022

Numbers are the key to having a clear vision of what sort of investment one is looking at. Examining the property portfolio of a leading real estate agency is probably the best way to get a general, yet straightforward, overview of the current scenario. So, let’s take a look at the records of a preeminent Tuscan agenzia immobiliare (real estate agency) that currently holds 146 properties for sale, for a total of €352.73 million. The cost range, and expense percentages are:

Cost rangeExpense percentages
= 1 million euros31% of the properties
>1 and <3 million euros43.9 %
>3 and <5 million euros13.5 %
>5 million euros11.5 % of the properties’ sales price

Property for sale in Tuscany – which area to choose

Tuscany is no doubt charming, but knowing where to buy is what makes the difference. Selecting the right area, in fact, is crucial to making a sound and smart investment. So, let’s take a look at the region’s different districts.

Houses for sale in Tuscany: top 7 most interesting areas

Experts, financial analysts, and real estate agents all concur: the following 7 spots are, as of today, those that are drawing the most attention.

  • Florence
  • Chianti
  • Lucca
  • Costa degli Etruschi and Campiglia Marittima
  • Isola d’Elba
  • Versilia

Florence

A relatively small historic city center embraced by beautiful hills and verdant countryside. Florence is a haven of world-class art and culture, with fashion and top-notch dining adding to its charm. Moreover, life, as European cities go, is not overly expensive, and right now the entire Florence area (i.e. the province) appears all the more appealing thanks to a slight decrease in prices per square meter. In fact, the average price for residential properties for sale in the Florence province in January 2022 was €3,053 per square meter, that is to say minus 1.86% compared to January 2021. The most cost-effective properties are to be found in the rural areas located Northeast of the city: Marradi, in the Mugello, with homes for sale at €752 per square meter and Palazzuolo sul Senio (€941). The most expensive, needless to say, are in Florence city center and its immediate vicinity: €3.944

Chianti

Or Chianti-shire, as this harmonious sanctuary of magnificently groomed countryside, is called. Brimming with vineyards and meadows, castles, and delightful villages, Chianti offers unrivaled landscapes, amazing wine, and an atmosphere that is nothing short of enchanting. In January last the average prices of houses, farmhouses, and apartments in the pretty towns – Radda, Greve, Gaiole and Castellina for instance – and their surroundings stood at €2.400 per square meter, +3.76% compared to 2021. An increase that definitely mirrors the current desire to move country-wards and enjoy a more pleasant and relaxed lifestyle.

Lucca

Exquisite and colorful Lucca is a real Tuscan gem. Endowed with a superbly preserved historical center, including massive 15th-century walls topped by a spectacular park, evocative cobblestone streets, and an extremely gratifying lifestyle, Lucca is becoming more fascinating and appealing by the day. Case in point: over the last 10 to 15 years, people have been flocking here from all over Italy and the world. Demand for houses for sale has grown as steadily as in Lake Como, and prices per square meter are constantly on the rise as well. 

Piazza Anfiteatro, Lucca – Pixabay

Costa degli Etruschi and Campiglia Marittima

An overview of the area

A stretch of dune-rimmed sandy beaches caressed by the frothy waves of the Tyrrhenean sea. Inland, a lush natural environment dotted by quaint ancient villages and haunting archeological sites. All enhanced by a thriving cultural heritage, deep-rooted local traditions and amazing wines. Named after the Etruscans, the first population to have settled here, this area of Tuscany is the birthplace of the famous Supertuscans wine, and boasts a vast range of attractions. Among these, the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Baratti, two pristine natural wonderlands, namely the Parco Costiero della Sterpaia and WWF oasis in Bolgheri.

The towns of the Etruscan Coast: Campiglia

The villages, inhabitants and local character make this area all the more special. Piombino, a bustling port town, San Vincenzo, a charming harbor, Bibbona and Cecina are all extremely attractive, and the Medieval villages, such as Campiglia Marittima and Castagneto Carducci, are nothing short of extraordinary. As concerns real estate options, Campiglia Marittima provides extremely enticing investment opportunities. This municipality, in fact, comprises two main urban areas plus a tiny hamlet called Cafaggio. The townships are Campiglia, nestled in the rolling Val di Cornia hills some 280 meters above sea level, and lovely Venturina, in the valley, renowned for its therapeutic natural springs. Located at a brief scenic drive from the seaside, the whole Campiglia area offers significantly lower prices per square meter compared to the coveted beachfront properties of the Etruscan coast.

Isola d’Elba

Grottoes and coves, pebbled beaches, starfish-studded turquoise blue waters and delicious island wines and cuisine. There’s no end to Elba’s allure, as the Italians who buy their vacation home here know, and lately, it has also become a favorite among foreign buyers. Many Swiss, British, and German investors travel to Elba to find their dream Italian dwelling, or to purchase a property with the aim of renting it out.

Where to buy on Elba Island

Current surveys show steady prices, and most foreign buyers appear to prefer top-notch select opportunities, like the high-priced luxury villas located in Capoliveri, in the namesake municipality, and Biodola, in the comune di Portoferraio. Both these areas show steady , and exclusive, pricing due to the fact that demand is high and offers low. Also, on Elba as elsewhere, prices vary a lot depending on the distance of the property from the sea. The seafront area at Marina di Campo, in the municipality of Campo dell’Elba, for instance, is worth twice as much as the inland area (which is just 1 km from the seaside!). In the area in between Marina di Campo and Sant’Andrea, which is comprised in the Marciana municipality, one can find mansions and villas that cost around five million euros, and the entire municipalities of Rio Marina and Rio nell’Elba are less sought-after and hence offer cost-effective real estate prices.

The ideal island for a rental business

In any case, all areas of Elba are suitable to create potentially profitable business enterprises, especially vacation rentals. In fact, recent data published both by the Belvilla vacation homes portal and the Holidu Group’s Bookiply platform show that over 50% of the island vacation homes have already been booked for the coming summer. The turnout figures are extremely promising, too:  as of today, a holiday under the Tuscan sun will cost an average of 35% more this year than it did in 2019.

Versilia

Sandy beaches, glossy boutiques, historic vestiges, and charming seafront and mountainside towns crowned by the jewel-like Apuan Alps and lapped by the gentle waves of the sea. Renowned especially for the swinging nightlife of the 60s and current glitzy celebrity holidays, Versilia is also a haven of breathtaking contemporary art, centuries-old traditions and exceptional natural beauty. 

An overview of Versilia

Comprising 8 municipalities, Pietrasanta, Forte dei Marmi, Seravezza, Stazzema, Camaiore, Massarosa and Viareggio, the whole area displays the best of quintessential Italy. Pietrasanta, cradle of modern and contemporary art, is a heartrendingly beautiful historic town filled with sculptural masterpieces, artists’ galleries and workshops. Its seafront district, Marina di Pietrasanta, along with neighboring Forte dei Marmi, are top-notch holiday resorts elite palm-fringed luxury villas, boutique hotels, sophisticated shops and posh restaurants. The Forte’s and Marina di Pietrasanta’s bagni – the typically Italian beach facilities – offer all kinds of amenities, from Moroccan-style seafront tents equipped with deluxe sunbeds to infinity swimming pools and gourmet restaurants. Camaiore, the most extensive of the Versilian municipalities, is a colorful district beloved by Italian families for its sandy beaches and leisurely lifestyle.

Viareggio coastline and the Apuan Alps

The inland and Viareggio

The municipalities of Seravezza and Stazzema, located on the slopes of the Apuan Alps, and Massarosa, also inland, offer a completely different atmosphere thanks to their unique position. Being further away from the seaside, these areas also provide highly competitive prices, both as regards daily life and real estate. And then there’s Viareggio, “the gem of the Tyrrhenian sea” a delightful town bedecked by exquisite Art Nouveau buildings, period hotels and a magnificent seafront promenade. Renowned for its picturesque Carnival parades and preeminent shipyards, it is a dainty embodiment of iconic Italy.

Where to buy in Versilia

Elegance, class and attractiveness don’t go unnoticed and are reflected in the prices of real estate. In fact, a survey published by the influential Italian portal Idealista at the end of 2021 reports that Forte dei Marmi houses were the most expensive in Italy, with an average sales price standing at €7.332 per square meter, closely followed by Pietrasanta, with €4.182 per square meter, and Camaiore, which managed to beat Rome with €2.929 against €2.828.

Houses for sale in Tuscany, Italy – other areas

Alongside the top 7 most attractive areas of Tuscany, there are 3 other areas that deserve to be mentioned and kept in mind for a real estate investment.

These are:

  • Siena
  • Arezzo
  • Pistoia

Siena

Siena’s city center, with its evocative Medieval palaces and superb artwork, is a heavenly vision, and many a traveler dreams of owning a home here. The city offers a variety of diverse neighborhoods, each with its peculiar qualities. As prices go, the average sales price per square meter in the city of Siena and its immediate surroundings stood at €2.940 at the end of 2021. Needless to say, dwellings are more expensive in the main historic city center (€3.376/m2 according to the latest WikiCasa survey) than in the adjacent areas.

Arezzo

The main city, Arezzo, renowned for its amazing antique market and lovely churches, and the surrounding district, vast and endowed with magnificent forests, delightful towns and more. The easternmost province of Tuscany is somewhat off-the-beaten-track but immensely attractive. As concerns real estate, prices appear to be steady, at an average of €1.533 per square meter.

Pistoia

An exquisite town graced by superb architecture, ancient and contemporary art and a uniquely inspiring ambiance. Charming, evocative Pistoia boasts a pleasing man-size lifestyle and a refined character that set it apart from other Tuscan towns. Interestingly enough, real estate prices set it apart as well at the moment. In fact, prices per square meter for residential properties started decreasing in the third quarter of 2021, and as of today the Pistoia province is the most affordable in Tuscany, with houses selling for €1.298 per square meter.

In summary, costs per square meter in inland areas of Tuscany along with a quick overview of tourism market trends pre-and during the pandemic:

LocationCost per sqmTrend compared to January 2021Tourism trend 2019/2020Tourism trend 2020/2021
Firenze metropolitan area1800 €-1,86 %– 80% c.a.+ 20% c.a.
Firenze city3944 €– 1,62%– 80%+ 15%
Chianti2400 €– 67.1%+ 58.6%
Lucca2166 €+ 2,83 %– 68%+ 76.5%
Arezzo1533 €+ 3,59 %– 50%+ 20 %
Siena2940 €+ 1,62 %
– 55% c.a.
+ 24% c.a.
Pistoia1298 €+ 2,53 %n/dn/d
Data taken from the IRPET report and Immobiliare.it

The same for marine areas:

LocationCost per sqmTrend compared to January 2021Tourism trend 2019/2020Tourism trend 2020/2021
Campiglia 1981 €+1,96 %– 34%+ 27.3%
Elba3562 €– 0,36%– 34%+ 26%
Forte dei Marmi 7569€+2,19%– 46%+ 73.7%
Pietrasanta 4360€+ 0,65 %– 46%+ 73.7%
Camaiore 3.006€+ 1,35 %– 46%+ 73.7%
Viareggio2943€+ 4,58 %
– 46%
+ 73.7%
Data taken from the IRPET report and Immobiliare.it

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