nytimes – House hunt in Italy: Sitting by the sea in Sardinia for $ 760,000

This one-bedroom apartment is located in the village of Porto Rafael, at the northern tip of the Italian island of Sardinia and overlooks a bay on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The 700-square-foot house is part of what was once the home of Rafael Neville, the Spanish nobleman who founded Porto Rafael in the early 1960s, said Diletta Giorgolo, sales manager for Italy Sotheby’s International Realty, which owns the listing.

“Rafael Neville wanted to create a charming seaside village with a small central square, the famous Piazzetta,” Ms. Giorgolo said. “All buildings are smartly constructed with very low environmental impact.

This lime and brick house is located on a slope between the road and the beach. The property is accessed from the road above, with a small path leading to the front door.

The main entrance, through a large arched glass door, is onto the apartment’s deep curved terrace facing the sea. A covered area of ​​the terrace accommodates a dining table with integrated seating. The turquoise tiling on the terrace and throughout the interior is Cerasarda, a Sardinian brand known for its sunny hues, Ms. Giorgolo said.

The living room, to the left of the entrance hall, has built-in sofa-style seating covering two walls. A large arched window offers stunning sea views and a second arched glass door opens onto the terrace.

To the right of the hall, the narrow kitchen has white and turquoise checkered wall tiles and is equipped with an oven, fridge, dishwasher and washing machine.

The bedroom has two casement windows facing the rear of the property. There are two full bathrooms, one with a shower and the other with a bathtub.

The apartment is part of a four-unit condominium. Parking is available in public car parks near the entrance to the property, Ms. Giorgolo said.

Sardinia, an island about 100 miles off the west coast of mainland Italy with 1.6 million inhabitants, is one of Italy’s 20 official regions. Porto Rafael, located in the province of Sassari, is a popular holiday resort, with several small public beaches and a yacht club. La Piazzetta has outdoor cafes, restaurants and shops. The village faces the island of La Maddalena, the only inhabited island among around 60 in an archipelago protected as a national park. The quickest seaside resort of Porto Cervo, a very exclusive yachting destination in the center of the Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast, is about 30 minutes away.

Porto Rafael is a 15-minute ferry ride from the nearby town of Palau, and about an hour by ferry from the French island of Corsica, due north. The town of Olbia, about 35 minutes away, has the nearest international airport as well as a ferry service to mainland Italy. The capital of Sardinia, Cagliari, is 185 miles to the south.

The pandemic has pushed up house prices in the already exclusive coastal areas of northern Sardinia, which is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, behind Sicily. While the region has long been a magnet for investors, it became more attractive when the coronavirus ravaged mainland Italy, said Daniela Ciboddo, licensing partner at Engel & Volkers’s office in Porto Cervo.

“Our way of life is isolated from the rest of Italy and it has protected us from the virus for a very long time,” Ciboddo said. “He reached the island much later than the rest of the peninsula.”

Ms. Giorgolo also observed that “the pandemic has reinforced, in most people, the concrete desire to take refuge in a healthy and calm place where they can feel safe and free at the same time”.

According to a report by the Costa Smeralda Consortium, based on 2020 real estate values ​​published by the country’s Revenue Agency, maximum values ​​along the Costa Smeralda have increased by around 12% in the midst of the pandemic, to 14,500 euros per square meter ($ 1,630 per square foot). This sets the region apart from other Italian tourist destinations such as Santa Margherita Ligure, Capri and Forte dei Marmi, all of which have seen price drops over the same period. The report notes that cheaper residential homes have also gained in value in 2020, largely thanks to “unspoiled nature and sea, exclusive and quiet spaces”, making it a paradise for “post-tourism”. Covid ”.

Prices start at around 5 million euros ($ 6 million) for a 3,000 square foot villa, while values ​​along the waterfront can reach over 50 million euros (60.5 million euros). dollars), Ms. Giorgolo said.

In Porto Rafael, where houses tend to be smaller and older, prices are stable, said Leonardo Manna, owner of Porto Rafael Real Estate. The inventory is limited, as there are only about 250 independent villas in the whole village, and a ban on new construction

“Porto Rafael is more reserved than Porto Cervo,” he said. “It’s a place where you go to relax, not to be seen. “

Villas that need updating typically start at around 1 million euros ($ 1.2 million), although prices depend on a range of factors, he said. The most expensive villa on the market today, right on the water’s edge, costs more than 10 million euros ($ 12.1 million).

For the whole of Sardinia, the average selling price has remained fairly constant over the past two years. In May, it was down about 2% year on year, to 1,488 euros per square meter ($ 167 per square foot), according to Idealista, a national SEO portal. In July 2019, it was 1,522 euros per square meter ($ 170 per square foot).

Home prices across Italy rose 2.3% in 2020, despite the pandemic, after seven years of decline, according to Idealista. In a statement, the announcements site attributed the increase to the changing housing needs triggered by the pandemic and historically low interest rates.

Italians typically make up around 60% of the buyer market in Sardinia, Mr Manna said, although over the past year and a half he has seen foreign buyers start to outnumber Italians.

Most of the foreign buyers in Sardinia come from Europe, especially Germany, Norway, Sweden and France, agents said. About 10 percent come from the United States, Russia and the Middle East, Ciboddo said.

There are no restrictions for most foreign buyers, although foreigners from outside the European Union can only buy property if their home country has a reciprocity agreement with the Italian government. The United States and Italy have such an agreement.

When making an offer to purchase, buyers should be prepared to make a deposit of 1-5%; if their offer is accepted, it becomes legally binding under Italian law.

Homeowners are exempt from capital gains tax if they sell after five years. Before that, capital gains are taxed at 20%.

The government has a tax incentive program for wealthy foreign buyers who move their residence to Italy. They can apply to pay a lump sum of 100,000 euros ($ 121,000) in annual tax on all income earned outside of Italy.

Italian; euro (1 euro = $ 1.21)

The stamp duty ranges from 2 to 9 percent of the purchase price; non-residents who buy second homes pay the higher amount. Notary and other fees amount to an additional 0.5 to 2 percent.

The annual property taxes on this apartment are 1,400 euros ($ 1,700).

Diletta Giorgolo, Italy Sotheby’s International Realty, 011-39-0789-94247;

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