Cheap Houses For Sale in Italy as a foreigner

TravelCheap Houses For Sale in Italy as a foreigner

Italy, renowned for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, has emerged as a captivating destination for those seeking affordable real estate opportunities. Across the country, various regions offer an array of inexpensive housing options, from rustic rural farmhouses to historic townhouses nestled in charming villages. The cost of buying a house in Italy as a foreigner can be surprisingly low, especially in areas where initiatives to rejuvenate depopulated regions are in place. 

This brief will explore key regions where budget-friendly properties are available, delving into the factors contributing to these low prices and providing essential considerations for prospective buyers. Whether you are looking for a tranquil countryside retreat or a project to restore a piece of history, Italy’s real estate market presents a unique and enticing opportunity.

For more information about housing costs, check this article about costs of buying a house in Italy as a foreigner.

Affordable Homes in Italy by Province

The highest concentration of properties for sale below €150,000 is found in the province of Rome, with 6.4% of the total market. Following closely are Milan and Turin, with 4.4% and 3.4% respectively. Other notable provinces in the top 10 include Pavia (2.8%), Bergamo (2.6%), Catania (2.5%), Palermo (2.2%), Alessandria, Varese (both at 2%), and Naples (1.8%). Collectively, these ten provinces account for over 30% of the total affordable housing market in Italy.

The remaining supply is spread across 97 provinces, with variations ranging from 1.7% in Brescia and Perugia down to 0.7% in Trieste and Nuoro. In Bolzano, where house prices average €4,541 per square meter, the availability of houses priced below €150,000 is nearly nonexistent, at just 0.3%.

Prevalence of Flats for Sale in Italy

In major Italian provinces, flats dominate the market, constituting 75% of the properties available for less than €150,000. This percentage is even higher in Milan, Monza Brianza, Livorno, and Trieste, reaching up to 95%, with detached or semi-detached houses making up only 5% of the affordable housing market. In 54 other provinces, flats account for over 75% of the market, with Florence at 91% and Ravenna at 76%.

The prevalence of flats gradually decreases in other areas, down to 48% in Oristano. Nationally, detached houses represent only 14% of the affordable housing market, though in certain provinces like Lecce (45%), Udine (42%), and Belluno (41%), they are more significant.

State of Properties for Sale in Italy

The majority of affordable homes in Italy are categorized as being ‘in good condition.’ The provinces with the lowest percentages of homes in need of renovation include Milan, Lodi, and Monza-Brianza (all at 7%), followed by Bergamo (8%) and Rome (9%). On the other hand, Belluno, Trento, and Lecce have the highest percentages of properties requiring renovation, at 26%.

Property Sizes and Price per Square Meter

The housing market in Italy offers a variety of options to meet the diverse needs and preferences of buyers. In provinces like Biella, Ragusa, and Enna, where the price per square meter is relatively low, larger flats such as four-room apartments are more common. Conversely, in more expensive areas, smaller properties like three-room, two-room, and studio apartments are prevalent, particularly in Bolzano (15%), Aosta (11%), Imperia (10%), Milan, and Trieste (8%).

In Rome, four-room flats make up 33% of the properties priced below €150,000, while in Milan, this type is less common, accounting for only 16%. Three-room apartments are the most common in provinces like Lodi (45%), Monza-Brianza, Bergamo, Lecco, and Varese (41%). In Rome, they represent 34% of the market, with Milan and Naples at 33%. Two-room apartments are more widespread in large cities, particularly in northern Italy, with the highest percentages in Milan (43%), Trieste (36%), and Monza-Brianza (34%), followed by Bolzano (29%), Rome, and Turin (both at 28%).

Factors Contributing to Low Prices


Many rural areas in Italy have experienced significant population decline, leading to a surplus of empty homes. Local governments often introduce schemes to attract new residents, including selling homes for symbolic prices.

Renovation Needs

Many of the cheap properties require extensive renovation, which can be costly and time-consuming. This lowers the initial purchase price but may increase overall investment costs.

Economic Factors

Economic challenges in certain regions have led to lower real estate prices. These areas often have higher unemployment rates and fewer job opportunities, which impacts property demand and prices.

Government Initiatives

Various regional and local governments have launched initiatives to rejuvenate declining areas. These include selling homes at low prices or offering tax incentives for renovations.

Considerations for Buyers

Renovation Costs

While the purchase price may be low, buyers should budget for potential renovation expenses. It’s essential to conduct a thorough inspection and estimate the costs before committing.

Legal and Bureaucratic Processes

Navigating Italy’s real estate market can be complex, especially for foreign buyers. Hiring a local real estate agent and legal advisor is recommended to ensure a smooth transaction.

Community and Amenities

Buyers should consider the availability of amenities and the local community’s vitality. Some areas may lack essential services, which can impact the quality of life.

Long-Term Investment

Investing in a cheap property in Italy can be a rewarding long-term investment, especially if the area experiences economic growth and increased tourism. However, it’s important to research and choose locations with potential for future development.


Italy presents a unique and enticing opportunity for those seeking affordable real estate, with a variety of charming properties available across the country. While the initial cost of buying a house in Italy as a foreigner can be surprisingly low, potential buyers must consider several factors, including renovation costs, legal and bureaucratic processes, and the availability of community amenities. The long-term investment potential is significant, particularly in areas poised for economic growth and increased tourism. By carefully researching and selecting the right location, buyers can find a property that offers both cultural richness and financial value, making Italy an attractive destination for real estate investment. 

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