The high heel of the Italian boot looks and feels like nowhere else in Italy. You might be on a Greek island here – washed in dazzling light, surrounded by low white-washed buildings, and gazing onto an omnipresent blue sea which hugs the region from two sides. Colourful, exotic Puglia is a beguiling and stimulating place, with its own distinctive food, architecture and atmosphere.
Its landscapes have an appealingly elemental quality – stark rocks meeting clean beaches lapped by crystal-clear water; gigantic olive trees spiralling up from dark red soil fringed by vivid wildflowers; fragrant pine forests opening onto chalk-white sands. Nature’s colours are bold in Puglia, and man-made shapes are simple – with chunky, cubic houses and conical-roofed cottages dotting the countryside. You soon get hooked on the region’s unique, striking flavour.
Puglia is southern Italy’s big success story of recent years. A prosperous and orderly region, it has the south’s lowest unemployment rate and a rock-bottom incidence of crime. Puglia offers the long, hot summers and often bright, balmy winters of Italy’s far south, but with fewer of the socio-economic problems sometimes associated with il mezzogiorno. There’s little evidence of poverty or corruption here. Puglia has Italy’s lowest average rainfall, and, as a wonderful bonus, its southern half has almost no earthquake activity – unlike the rest of central and southern Italy.
Of course, all the best of southern Italy is down here too – super-healthy food, open spaces, low population, a strong sense of family and community, and an easygoing lifestyle. Puglia remains the most popular southern region among foreign buyers. It’s easy to see what draws them down here, and it’s not just the low property prices. [...]
WHAT TO CHOOSE?
Many agents highlight Puglia’s coast as the best place in the region to buy property right now. Seaside homes have held their value best since the onset of the recession, and as you can readily imagine, they offer the strongest holiday rental prospects if you plan on letting out your home when you’re not there. Luigi Spano of the Puglia specialist agency SIS Property and Tourism says “If I were to buy a home in Puglia today, I would choose a coastal property. It will keep its value in the worst times, will increase in value by 8-13 per cent each year in normal times, and will give me a rental income of 3-5 per cent.” Luigi particularly recommends buying off-plan as a route to big savings, saying that you are likely to pay 20-25 per cent less than the final price of a property if you buy before building is complete. [...]
THE BUYING GAME
Puglia was little heard of in Britain until 2004, when budget airlines first began serving the region. A flurry of interest followed immediately, and since then Puglia’s reputation has grown steadily – both in the UK and in other European countries. The recent recession hasn’t affected Puglia’s property market too badly. Today, foreign buyers are still interested in the region, and it’s expected that the recent introduction of two new Ryanair routes into Puglia (from Paris and Stockholm) will bring yet more interest over the coming months and years. Some agents report that property prices in Puglia are down by as much as 15 per cent compared to what they were three years ago. But this decrease isn’t consistent across the region. In particular, property on the coast seems to have held its value particularly well. Prices of seaside homes are very little changed, and the Puglian coast is still tipped as a very good place to put your money.
Finally, a word on holiday rentals in Puglia. As you might imagine, this sun-drenched and sea-girt region is much loved by holidaymakers, yet it manages to remain unspoilt and uncrowded. It’s a discerning crowd who come here – Italians from other regions as well as northern Europeans. You’re likely to get a good amount of client interest on a home in Puglia, especially if it’s on the coast. Visitor numbers to southern Puglia were up by 20 per cent last year. New flight routes, more visitors and continuing buyer interest… it seems like Puglia’s bright star is still ascending.
Read the full article at http://www.italia-magazine.com/puglia/puglia-property-buying-guide Find your property for sale in Puglia at http://www.sispropertyandtourism.co.uk