Buying real estate in Milan

buying property in Milan
Updated 2023-04-16 10:58

The decision to buy a flat or a house in Milan, a city with the highest prices in Italy, is a challenging one, especially if you are an expatriate. This step depends on many variables and must be based on a good knowledge of the market. provides you with practical information to consider in your project.

Milan is a major European destination, and real estate could become a profitable investment in the coming years, as well as meeting the expectations of many expatriates and foreign investors. The city has a strong appeal thanks to its dynamism, its top economic sectors, such as technology and pharmaceuticals, its quality of life, and also its tireless potential to attract numerous start-ups.

Real estate agencies in Milan

The first important step is to contact the real estate agencies in Milan, as buying property in the Italian market is complex. Therefore, an expert will guide you and provide you with all his knowledge on the city's real estate market. Some of the real estate agencies in Milan are Remax, Gabetti, Tecnocasa, Tempocasa, Dils or Engels & Völkers. There is no shortage of recommendations and good addresses on the internet, particularly via sites such as Idealista, and Immobiliare, which publish numerous advertisements. You can even opt for receiving an alert every time a new property is available on the market. All you have to do is create an account in your name and select different search filters.

This will give you an idea of the budget required and the real estate opportunities available in Milan. If you are already in Milan, don't hesitate to visit one or more real estate agencies to discuss the possibilities available to you as an expatriate, especially in order to find out which areas are the most fashionable or the most promising if you are an investor.

Good to know:

As with all major cities, Milan offers many services. For example, you can call on the services of a property finder, a real estate agent specializing in the customized search for homes to buy. Based on your briefing, the agent will submit the results of their search: houses, flats, flats, villas, etc. Please note that this is a paid service, and the remuneration of the specialist is linked to the result of his search, in this case, if you buy one of the properties proposed. We advise you to find out in advance what the property finder's commission is.

The districts of Milan

Milan is the largest metropolitan area in Italy, divided into different neighborhoods with a wide range of property prices. Among the criteria that will guide your choice is the type of neighborhood, which you will select according to your desires, your needs (amenities, schools, work, etc.), your personal situation, and also your budget.

Property prices in Milan

On the whole, Milan's neighborhoods are efficiently connected to each other, especially since many projects are contributing to the city's development, such as the extension of the metro, with the new line 4 (blue) recently inaugurated by the Milanese Transport Agency (ATM).

The historic city center, for example, the Duomo area, Brera, or Sant'Ambrogio (the Cattolica University area) are the most prestigious areas if you want to buy a flat there, provided you can afford it (about €9,500 per square meter).

The Buenos Aires district (Porta Venezia) is a good place to invest in real estate because of its location between the historic center and the central station. It is also within easy reach of the Garibaldi area, which has been very popular in recent years, and is on the same green metro line as Loreto (approx. €6,900 per sqm).

If you have a smaller budget, you may want to consider Viale Monza, Città Studi or Lambrate (€4,500/m²), if you want to rent to students afterwards, due to the proximity of the Politecnico University.

To the northwest of Milan, you will find a variety of very different areas, starting with San Siro, home of the AC Milan and Inter football stadium, and famous among French expatriates because of the presence of the Stendhal school. There are also Wagner, De Angeli and Pagano, which are mainly residential and quiet (around €8,000 per sq m).

The Porta Genova and Navigli areas are in high demand, which can make finding property for sale a little more complicated. In addition, the area is a little out of the way from the economic center of Milan, so be sure to consider your commute before you consider buying a property (approx. €7,300 per sqm).

In the south of the city, there is the district of Porta Romana, Porta Vittoria, Lodi and the famous Bocconi University, which is mainly residential and aimed at families but also at students. There are many shops for students, small restaurants, bars, etc. The area is served by the yellow metro lines (approx. €6,500 per sqm).

General conditions for buying a property in Milan

What type of property do you want to buy in Milan? A flat or a house? How big is it? How many rooms? And with how many bedrooms? With or without a balcony? Is it furnished or empty?

Milanese buildings are usually old or historical, so it is important to check the conditions of the property you are interested in, as well as elements such as heating, electricity, the general appearance of the condominium, urban planning constraints, but also and above all the cadastral conformity. If necessary, you can ask for the opinion of an expert who will evaluate the property for you. This service has a cost, but it can be helpful during your search for a home. The expert may be an architect or a surveyor (known as perizia immobiliare).

Stages of buying property in Milan

Generally, purchasing a flat in Milan is made in several stages. Once you have found a property through an estate agent, you will be asked to make a price offer which the agent will give to the seller. At the same time, applying for a home loan from a financial institution is advisable if you need financing. This can be time-consuming as the bank has to carry out a series of checks on your professional and personal position, as well as on the property before it can accept your application for finance.

Next, the two parties agree on the drafting and signing of a preliminary contract, also known as a preliminary sales agreement (contratto preliminare or compromesso), which the real estate agent, as a mediator, must have registered within 20 days (or 30 days if a notary is involved). The cost of registration with the Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian tax authorities) is €200, regardless of the price of the property. It is also customary to pay a deposit on the total amount of the sale, there is no fixed amount, but you should count on about 10-15%. Please note that through this contract, the parties commit to selling/purchasing the property and to finalizing a final sales contract, called contratto di compravendita. The latter is signed before the notary in the presence of all parties.

Things to check when buying property in Milan

If you want to become a property owner in Milan or anywhere else in Italy, there are a number of things you need to check before you sign a deed of sale. Milan's housing stock has unique characteristics but, according to experts, up to 70% of it has problems of all kinds, mainly because of the large number of historic buildings intended for the residential market but also, as in many large cities, attics and under-roofs that need to be transformed into living quarters according to today's modern comfort standards.

Once you have found the property you wish to buy, obtaining the deed of ownership is essential. The estate agent should request this from the seller and provide it to the notary, who will make the necessary checks on the passage of previous ownership(s).

You will then have to ensure that the property in question is in conformity with the town planning and cadastral regulations. In the deed of sale, the notary will ask the seller to officially confirm that everything is in order in the municipal and cadastral registers (compliance with municipal building/renovation regulations, correct planimetric, etc.).

The certificato di agibilità (declaration of conformity) is also essential in the case of a purchase and will be requested by your bank if you take out a mortgage.

Another document that should be part of the deed of sale is the energy performance certificate, as it gives you an idea of the consumption levels of the property. Again, the notary should take responsibility for inserting the document into the sales file.

Make sure you also ask for the certificate of conformity of the sanitary and heating installations so that there are no surprises just after your purchase. These are issued by the companies that carried out the construction and/or renovation work.

Finally, in the case of a flat, do not forget to check the amount of the condominium fees with the administrator and especially the existence of any debts on the seller's part.

Financing a property purchase in Milan

Finally, organizing financing is one of the most important steps in becoming a homeowner in Milan. Depending on your personal possibilities, you can pay cash or borrow funds from a bank. Bank loans in Milan, as in all other countries, are at different rates depending on the risk profile of the subscriber.

Is it a good idea to buy a property in Milan? By taking all the above information into consideration and cross-referencing it with the information provided by your real estate agent, you can definitely make a winning investment. Note that some areas, such as Isola, City Life and NoLo (Nord Loreto), are considered by the Milanese to be the most fashionable. On the other hand, according to a study carried out by Facile Immobiliare in June 2022, the most pleasant areas to buy a residential property in Milan would be Porta Lodovica, Città Studi, Porta Romana and Sempione.

Finally, keep in mind that Milan hosts events all year round, such as the design fair, the fashion week (twice a year), and at these times of the year, the city is taken over by an impressive number of professionals but also passionate tourists looking for accommodation. So you can buy a property as an investment and rent it out to visitors. In recent years there has been a growing interest in the city, and rental income is virtually guaranteed.

Useful links: - Mercato immobiliare

Repubblica - Comprare casa a Milano

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