Why invest on Lake Como?
Lake Como has long been a favorite among A-listers, going all the way back to 1816 when the estranged wife of the Prince of Wales, Caroline of Brunswick made the huge mansion, Villa d’Este her home. The villa has since been transformed into an exclusive hotel to the stars.
Here are just a few of the many reasons for the increasing popularity of this lovely lake:
Apart from the obvious facts: stunning beauty; pleasant climate – sunny in the summer and generally mild in the winter; great food, great (well priced) wine; relaxed life-style etc.
It is only a 60-90-minute flight away from the UK, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
There are 3 international airports within easy driving distance (40 to 60 mins) – Malpensa, Linate and Milan-Bergamo. These Milan airports are served by all the major international airlines, as well as by low-cost European airlines, including Volare, Ryan Air, Easyjet and EuroFly, offering year-round daily flights.
There are excellent train and motorway links directly to Como.
There is a good selection of International English-speaking schools in Como and in nearby Milan and Lugano (only 30-45 mins).
Italy was listed number 2 after France by the WHO for its health care. A more recent Quality of Life Survey listed it 3rd after France and Switzerland. Health care is always an important consideration if you plan to spend any length of time in another country.
Although property prices have increased over the last 4 years (partly due to the ‘George Clooney effect’), there is still a massive potential for growth.
It is a popular holiday destination for tourists from the UK, Holland, Germany. Switzerland, USA and Australia.
The rental market has a long season from March to October with Christmas and New Year periods also popular.
It is within easy access of some excellent ski resorts with St Moritz, Madesimo and Bormio within 90 minutes drive, making it an ideal location for both winter and summer.
Existing investors at one Lake Como development have seen a 25% return on their investment by buying off plan. Rental incomes easily cover mortgage interest repayments.
The popularisation of the Lake in recent years due to filming on the Lake – Star Wars, James Bond, Oceans 12, A Month on the Lake and The X factor – to name just a few.
Lake Como coverage on TV investment programs including ‘A Million Dollar Home in the Sun’ (August 2008).
Lake Como is being hyped as the next St Tropez with many famous second home-owners already on the lake, including George Clooney, Donatella Versace, Rupert Murdock, Richard Branson, Jose Mourinho and Michael Schumacher. It is even rumoured that Prince Charles has a pad somewhere on the Lake.
Why buy now?
Italian mortgage lenders are not as reluctant as in some other European countries to lend to foreigners for second homes and will often take forecast rental income into account.
Development land on Lake Como is very scarce, due to the topography of the area (steep rocky sides). Consequently any investment opportunities or new building developments are quickly seized upon by investors.
With such small land mass available for new projects and a continuing buoyant market, the future for property prices on Lake Como, looks extremely promising and make it a good investment opportunity.
The following table provides actual rental incomes received in 2009 on a 4-5 bedroom new-build with a private pool which was purchased for €600,000 in January 2009
SEASON LOW MED HIGH PEAK TOTALS
weeks available 21 9 13 9 52
weeks rented 0 3 10 8 21
weekly rental € 2,100 2,900 3,900 4,900 Total income € 0.00 8,700 39,000 39,000 86,900