Why is it worth buying a masseria in Puglia?

According to the Times, Puglia and in particular Salento, beat Tuscany as a tourist attraction. Buying a house here makes economic sense, and what’s more, the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. This is basically the main point put forward by the renowned British newspaper, which highlights the fact that a similar property in Tuscany will cost you 20-25% more. You can snap one up and then sit back and soak up the sun, enjoy the countryside with its olive groves and vineyards, the Mediterranean diet and, not least, the sea that laps against the shores of the heel of Italy.

“Puglia, the sun kissed heel of Italy, has long been a well kept secret. Much of the attraction can be put down to the fact that property is affordable”, says the Times. Il Sole 24 Ore writes, “The demand for information about property in Puglia on the real estate Italian portal Gate-Away.com increased by 117% in 2013; Puglia now outranks Liguria and stands in second place after Tuscany.”

Not surprisingly then, in a housing market which has been hit by the economic crisis, that the house market in Puglia is attracting much interest, even among international buyers.

Data from the BIS (Bank for International Settlements) point to Italy, Greece and, to a lesser extent, Spain, which is still trying to recover from the housing crisis which engulfed the country back in the middle of 2008.

In this scenario, there are cities and groups of property that never lose their charm. Such is the case for the trulli and the masserie in Puglia. All of these typical rural dwellings continue to capture the interest of both domestic and foreign buyers who choose to come and live in Italy.

As for masserie in Puglia, which in the past particularly appealed to the English market, demand now comes mainly from northen European buyers.

In the hinterland there are areas which hold great promise in terms of the housing market, and other areas however, which are still waiting to be discovered. “In southern Salento, for instance, there are many examples of substantial real estate investments”, states Idealista.it. Just think of the masseria in Tiggiano which was purchased by Helen Mirren a few years ago. This area is known for its ancient olive groves, some of which have been destroyed, and the rural landscape dotted with its dry stone walls, locally called “muretti a secco”, and the pajare or furnieddhri ,the local traditional trulli which are different from the trulli in the Valle d’Itria).



The area, however, that will develop in the near future is further north, west of Lecce, which is the wine producing area. The landscape, interspersed with olive groves, is dotted with vineyards as far as the eye can see.

As everyone in the wine making business knows, it is the vineyard landscape that holds so much more potential for investment, because it represents the ultimate dream for thousands of people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of cities in the western world.

The Salice Salentino DOC wine producing area, in particular, holds great long term potential.

The area which extends between the provinces of Lecce and Brindisi possess some of the best wineries in Puglia, producing excellent bottles of Negroamaro, the quality of which continues to go from strength to strength.

Moreover, it is an area which shares a border with another important wine producing area in Puglia; the Primitivo di Manduria has become famous world over and has even started to make inroads into international wine lists (Tormaresca’s Torcicoda Salento IGT wine has been placed in the top 100 wines in the world according to Wine Spectator).

What could be more stunning than a masseria surrounded by vineyards? Throw in a sea view, maybe. Incomparable.
The rest of the world is getting to know us. This year The Wine Enthusiast included Puglia among the 10 best wine tourism destinations in the world, click here. For those of you who love the Chianti and the Napa Valley in California, Salento is the new top spot to be looking out for. We have a centuries-old wine tradition, beautiful landscapes and a stunning backdrop of Lecce Baroque architecture, the clear blue water of the Ionian and Adriatic sea, kilometers of fine, white sandy beaches, music and gastronomy all waiting to be discovered!

The research focuses on property that can be converted into top quality, luxury Bed and Breakfast accommodation that will give you a new direction in life, or buildings that can be divided into apartments to rent on a weekly basis. Germans, Brits and the French are the main foreigners who are involved in this sector.

The beach or mountain house, which, generally speaking is purchased to be used, is increasingly becoming a good form of investment thanks to growth in prices in recent years. This growth will undoubtedly continue to rise.

Obviously house owners only really begin to appreciate the rise in value when they decide to sell, and it is this increase which represents the greatest asset.

The value of a seaside home which is a second property can only continue to rise. In Italy where there is a lack of resources, whoever manages to buy and hold onto a medium to long term investment cannot fail to make a tidy profit.

If you want to make a good investment there are some rules of thumb that you need to follow. Firstly, you must carry out the necessary technical checks on the building to ensure regulatory compliance. Secondly, optimize your investment by having the right financial tools in place; there are some interesting options available for the potential buyer. I am referring to mortgages which have been specially designed for the purchase of a second home; the mortgage repayment plan is drawn up so that the purchaser pays only the interest and not the principal. This means that the payments are comparable to renting. Having a second home is another way of diversifying your portfolio. Bonds are not giving good returns, bank-managed bond portfolios typically yield as little as 1% ,whereas investing in a seaside house has real value as it allows you to diversify your wealth over a long-term period. People often hold onto a second home for ten or fifteen years until their children start to grow up. The second home represents an important asset class because of the emotional yield involved. At this point we have to consider the so-called emotional yield chase, and everyone has one. Many people would prefer to own a lovely holiday home rather than invest in government bonds or equities.

It is not difficult to find a good deal. Focus your search on bigger towns as these tend to absorb the smaller outlying areas, because building land is so scarce. The South is in an excellent position to lead the way by riding the waves of tourism- 82% of tourist flow is towards seaside destinations in the south, which have added value because of their sheer beauty. The potential for growth is also much higher in this area because the market in other areas has started to bottom out. In the last few years, the second home market in southern Italy has almost tripled compared to that in the north, and has more than doubled that in central Italy.

There are numerous options available for property investors- houses can be bought at foreclosure auctions, or bought for a song and then sold on when there is a boom for demand; some investors like to buy a property when market prices are low, do it up and then sell for a profit when things start to pick up. Here at Valente Group we are committed to helping foreign investors assess the market carefully before choosing to invest their money in a real estate transaction.

For further information, please feel free to contact us.