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Milan vs Rome: will real estate investors split up?

Real estate investments in Italy, especially those with foreign capitals, continue to sustain the Italian economy. According to CBRE, in our country in the first two quarters of 2019 the total amount invested in real estate properties is of 5.2 billion euros, a trend which will continue in the third and fourth quarter (CBRE).
The first position in the rank of the cities with bigger cash flows in the sector is occupied by Milan, where an amount of 1.15 billion euros was spent so far. These investments mainly come from Asia, and from Korea in particular, where big funds are expanding their business interests and therefore increasing expenses, also thanks to the slowdown of capital flows coming from Singapore (Sole24Ore). Koreans have indeed been investing hard in the City in the last months, with many acquisitions such as that by Meritz Financial Group of the 50% of the Vodafone Village complex, owned by Coima Res, and those of two Pirelli buildings in the Bicocca district.
The scenario is different in Rome: the contingency of other urgent needs and the comfortable profits from the tourism sector make the strategic design of the project of the city not so clear. Here, the capital flows both from Italy and from abroad slowed down and are stuck only to existing assets. Thus, the biggest investments opportunities in Rome are offered by old and temporarily vacant buildings and areas, such as the area of the Ex Fiera and the former “Mercati Generali”, and from assets owned by the State, Ferrovie, INPS and other institutions.
Also the location of the buildings investors are interested in is often different in the two cities. In Milan, in fact, the acquisition tend to be concentrated in the new districts, like Porta Nuova and CityLife, where in the last years new and very modern buildings were built, and in the most important industrial districts like Bicocca. On the other hand, Rome witnesses an increase in the appeal of investments inside the city centre. In the next years, hotel investments opportunities will instead be concentrated towards Tivoli and Fiuggi, also thanks to the 2022 Ryder’s Cup (Horwath HTL).
The hotel sector deserves a special mention, as it attracts big capitals all over the country. In Rome, the acquisitions and transformation in hotels of buildings and real estate are increasing, with big amounts of money spent to create new hotels in the city centre and in the areas of Termini train station and Veneto Street. Recently in Rome the Domus Romana hotel in Quattro Fontane Street was bought by Keys Reims, while Investire Sgr has acquired the hotel in Capo D’Africa Street, previously owned by Toti Group. In June, in Milan, Invesco Real Estate has bought the NH Collection hotel in Portello district from IGEFI Group.

Source: Sole24Ore, CBRE, Horwath HTL, others.

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