Buy a residential property in Italy: mortgages and taxes

What you need to get through real estate opportunities

When specifically understanding the keys and details of residential purchases in Italy, there are two key concepts to consider.

  1. The first of these is how to get a mortgage in Italy to purchase property.
  2. The second key concept is how tax management takes place in Italy.

How to get a mortgage in Italy to buy a property

Mortgage in Italy for non residents

Italy mortgages are just for residents? That’s not true at all! In short, there are no laws in Italy that outlaw or restrict foreigners from obtaining a mortgage in Italy. Mortgages are the most common global form of real estate loan, which means that anyone can get a mortgage in Italy, just like nearly all people can buy real estate in the first place. What’s about Italian mortgage rates? They are not different from other EU countries.

However, all prospective purchasers of real estate in Italy must take care and consider the fact that Italian banks – especially with foreigners – have always been incredibly careful lenders. In addition, considering the recent economic downturn resulting from COVID-19, banks are especially careful with both Italian and foreign residents.

This simply means that many banks are more reluctant to take on the risk of a mortgage if they do not have to. And if there is not sufficient collateral to back the loan. This is especially the case with foreign borrowers because it is exceedingly difficult for Italian banks to recover overdue balances abroad.

Nevertheless, it can be simply understood that nearly anyone can apply for a mortgage – but it is difficult if you van’t count on th ehelp of local professionals.

Different types of mortgage under transfer of property act in Italy

Prospective buyers must consider the fact that there are four different types of mortgages to choose from.

  1. Fixed-rate: the first is a fixed-rate mortgage, wherein the interest rate does not change throughout the mortgage.
  2. Variable-rate: there are also variable-rate mortgages. Variable-rate mortgages change to reflect market fluctuations, whereas may convert between fixed- and variable-rate at predetermined periods.
  3. Hybrid-rate: a hybrid-rate mortgage mixes fixed-rate mortgages’ conditions with an adjustable-rate mortgage. Initially you have a fixed interest rate period, then an adjustable rate period.
  4. Split-rate: The final type of mortgage is a split-rate mortgage, wherein the mortgage is split into two parts. One part is a fixed rate, and the other is a variable rate.
How to get a mortgage in Italy to buy a property

Italy: mortgage rates and how to get it

The mortgage interest rate and payment terms are up to the buyer. These factors depend on their financial situation and market conditions and what will be safer and more profitable for the bank. In general, all Italian and foreign buyers should compare rates from several banks before deciding.

Getting a mortgage in Italy as a foreigner

The process of applying for a mortgage in Italy—even for non-Italians—is fairly straightforward. The first step is to submit the request to the bank, after which the bank will decide whether the borrower is dependable and creditworthy.

Applying for a mortgage in Italy: the documents you need

Banks often request:

  • valid ID documents
  • residency certificates
  • certificates of good standing
  • a reference letter
  • the applicant’s last tax return.

For company mortgage applications, owners must also provide:

  • a corporate and VAT certificate
  • personal ID
  • documents showing they own more than 25% of shares
  • the last official turnover.

Banks may also require specific itemized information on the property such as a sales contract, floor plans, and deeds. Once the bank has reviewed the application and accepted that the applicant is creditworthy, they will create an individualized loan drafted on the standard ESIS Form.

Applicants have a “reflection period” of 7 days from the proposal draft date to evaluate, compare, and counteroffers before subscribing to the contract. Once accepted, the bank will finance a part of the property. For non-residents, Italian banks will generally fund no more than 50% of the property price.

Real estate taxes in Italy

Real estate taxes in Italy

Tax management for properties is also an important concept for non-residents to consider when purchasing residential real estate in Italy. It is important for people to understand when, how much, and if you will be taxed for a residential property.

Specific Italian law concerns the taxation of income generated by a property, in the case of rentals. Renting properties and earning income falls under Articles 36 and 37 of the Italian Income Tax Code (TUIR) and is thus taxed accordingly.

More specifically, however, there are certain elements of rental-business classification that are considered in tax management. The presence of complementary services (car, linen, food, etc) and factors along with the rental property influences real estate taxes in Italy ,along with the presence of employees helps determine whether income is taxed.

Short-term rentals in Italy

Thus, there are many factors to consider in the tax management of rentals and residential properties. However, according to Italian law, specific taxes are applied to short-term rentals. Short-term rentals are agreements designed for residential properties wherein the contract does not extend beyond 30 days. This same tax regime also applied to rentals providing linen or cleaning services. In other words, short-term rentals and B&Bs or hotels are under the same tax regime.

Italian legislation stipulates that an individual can benefit from the 21% flat tax instead of the regular tax rate that is normally charged based on the landlord’s income. This also applies to sublease payments that generate income. In any case, Italian law stipulates that a single owner or manager can own up to 4 rental properties in the national territory. This, in short, is to make the short-term rental market more balanced than the hotel world.

In short, however, residents and non-residents need to understand not only how to apply for a mortgage; but also, the different legal and fiscal requirements that apply to property ownership and income generation in Italy. Understanding these requirements and processes will make mortgage processes much more streamlined and simpler; and will lead to more successful mortgage lending for their future properties.

Our services: purchase assistance for residential properties

Our team of professionals provides extensive knowledge and experience in the fields of residential and commercial property incomes and tax management, as well as legal guidance. This allows us to provide sound guidance and assistance for foreign investors to not only acquire a mortgage in Italy but also to effectively navigate residential property ownership.

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