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Buying a property in Lake Como: a complete guide

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property investment Lake Como

Yes, the analysis of Lake Como's property market is included in our pack

Thinking of investing in real estate in Lake Como? You're not alone!

Many people are captivated by Lake Como's Italian allure and dream of owning an elegant villa or a modern apartment with lake views there.

Still, would it be a smart investment? Are property prices increasing in the region of Lake Como? Is it expensive? Is it better to invest in Como or Bellagio? Are there any secret taxes? What rental yields should I expect?

We've solved it for you.

The Investropa team has really dug into this market. As a matter of fact, we have condensed all our findings in a pack. Get it now.

In the lines below, we'll provide you with helpful information.

How's the property market in the region of Lake Como?

How is the property market performing? Let's rely on data and figures to find out.

Types of properties

In Lake Como, you can find various types of properties for sale.

These include charming lakeside villas with stunning views, cozy cottages nestled in the picturesque countryside, modern apartments in bustling towns, and spacious homes with private gardens.

Whether you're looking for a luxurious retreat, a serene getaway, or a convenient urban dwelling, Lake Como offers a diverse range of properties to suit different preferences and lifestyles.

Better to buy or rent?

(If you're keeping it for yourself and not renting it)

If Lake Como is your destination of choice, you may be thinking about the advantages of buying versus renting a property in this breathtaking Italian lake region.

Generally, buying is a better choice than renting in the Lake Como region due to its desirable location, increasing property values, and potential for rental income.

Nonetheless, if you favor flexibility, renting is the ideal route.

Property prices in the region of Lake Como

On average, according to the last data from National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), purchasing a property in the region of Lake Como would cost you around $11,000 per square meter.

Obviously, there are some big differences. A lakefront property on Lake Como might have a higher price per square meter than an apartment in Como. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property in the region of Lake Como and in Italy.

To put things in perspective, it means that, instead of purchasing a flat in Manhattan, you can obtain 1 properties in the region of Lake Como.

However, housing prices in the region of Lake Como are higher (11%) than in Milan.

The most expensive places in the region of Lake Como are probably Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio, while the cheapest areas are likely to be in the smaller towns and villages around the lake.

Lake Como Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Italy remains, today, a very stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 43.4.

This is important to remember when wondering if it's a good investment to buy a property in the region of Lake Como.

Also, according to the International Monetary Fund, Italy's economy is expected to soar by 4.8% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1% (it's not much).

If you want to invest in real estate in the region of Lake Como it's a good thing because, usually, when the economy grows, people make more money, and this encourages them to invest in real estate, which drives up the demand and prices for properties.

Also, in Italy, the average GDP per capita has changed by 4.1% over the last 5 years. The growth, although minimal, is still present.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Italy right now.

Buying property in the region of Lake Como

Buying real estate in the Lake Como region can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in the region of Lake Como and in Italy.

Buying process

Inside our pack, we've outlined the complete buying process, including a detailed breakdown of prices and yields per area, tips for negotiating the price, and information about mortgage options.

Here, we're presenting you with a more straightforward version.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Lake Como:

  1. Research Lake Como's property regulations and residency requirements for non-EU buyers.
  2. Obtain a Codice Fiscale (Italian tax code) from the local tax office.
  3. Engage a real estate agent specialized in Lake Como properties.
  4. View properties that match your criteria and consider proximity to the lake and local amenities.
  5. Check cadastral documents (Visura Catastale) and land registry details (Visura Ipotecaria) for the property.
  6. Make an offer through your agent and negotiate the price and terms with the seller.
  7. Sign a "Proposta Irrevocabile di Acquisto" (irrevocable purchase proposal) after agreeing on the terms.
  8. Hire a notary to conduct due diligence, verify ownership, and prepare the "Compromesso" (preliminary contract).
  9. Pay a deposit (caparra) typically 10% of the property price upon signing the Compromesso.
  10. Finalize property surveys, structural checks, and obtain necessary permits (Permesso di Costruire) if applicable.
  11. Transfer the remaining balance to the seller's account during the final signing at the notary's office.
  12. Register the property in your name, pay applicable taxes, and ensure compliance with local regulations.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Italy.

Make a profitable investment in Lake Como

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buying property in Lake Como

Where to find a property

Explore these websites to find properties in Lake Como.

  • Immobiliare - Italy's leading real estate portal, offering an innovative platform for property listings and searches.
  • Green-Acres - Europe's leading platform for second homes, providing a wide range of properties for sale in Italy and other countries.
  • Immobiliare Italiano - Offers a diverse range of Italian real estate and luxury properties for sale, catering to various preferences and budgets.
  • Houses of Italy - A licensed real estate agency offering a variety of properties for sale across different regions of Italy.
  • Italian Houses for Sale - A property website featuring a wide selection of properties for sale in various regions of Italy, connecting clients with professional agents.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Italy.

Which properties for which budget?

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in the region of Lake Como is $11,000. A 1-bedroom property with an area of 60 square meters would cost approximately $660,000, and a 2-bedroom property with an area of 85 square meters would cost approximately $935,000.

However, prices will change based on both the property itself and its location.

Buying real estate in prime Lake Como locations is usually more costly. In Bellagio, a villa might be around $2,670,000, whereas a residence in Varenna could be priced at $2,480,000.

Certain locations are not as costly. You may find an apartment in a remote place for $360,000, or one in Menaggio priced only at $300,000.

We give more details about property types and areas in our full pack for buying property in Italy.

Common mistakes

Here are the main pitfalls when buying a property in Lake Como, Italy:

  • Restrictive building codes and historical preservation laws unique to Italy.
  • Potential property encumbrances tied to historical estates or family-owned land.
  • Complex inheritance laws leading to co-ownership complications.
  • Risk of landslides and geological hazards in the hilly terrain.
  • Limited parking options and accessibility challenges in the narrow streets.
  • Seasonal tourism impact on property value and rental potential.
  • Bureaucratic delays and red tape in the property buying process.
  • Local property market influenced by international buyers' trends.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Italy

Everything you need to know is included in our Italy Property Pack

Living in the region of Lake Como

Living in the region of Lake Como is a dream come true, with its breathtaking views, picturesque towns, and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Cost of living

The cost of living in the region of Lake Como is generally higher than the average cost of living in Italy due to its high demand and popularity as a tourist destination. However, it is still relatively affordable compared to other regions in Europe.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Lake Como:

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the picturesque neighborhood of Bellagio: $1200 per month.
  • A glass of "Negroni Sbagliato," a popular Italian cocktail, at a lakeside bar: $10.
  • Monthly pass for the "Navigazione Laghi" boat service, connecting towns around Lake Como: $80.
  • Utilities (electricity, water) for a charming villa in Varenna: $180 per month.
  • A bottle of local "Nebbiolo" wine from the Lombardy region: $25.
  • Entrance fee to Villa Carlotta, a stunning lakefront villa and botanical garden in Tremezzina: $12.
  • Monthly membership at a lakeside wellness center in Menaggio: $100.
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    Since we want to help people understand easily, we've created a summary table that tells about the different parts around Lake Como. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

    Place Description Strengths Weaknesses


    Varenna is a charming lakeside town with picturesque views and historic villas, making it an attractive destination for tourists and potential property buyers.

    Scenic beauty, historical appeal, and tourist interest lead to a robust rental market and potential for property value appreciation.

    High demand might result in higher property prices and limited availability of suitable investment properties.


    Como is a bustling city with a lively atmosphere and excellent transport links, making it convenient for both residents and visitors. The city's proximity to Milan adds to its appeal as a potential investment location.

    Diverse economy, good amenities, and strong rental demand due to its urban setting attract property investors seeking higher yields.

    Higher levels of noise and pollution compared to smaller towns, and property prices might be relatively higher in certain areas.


    Menaggio offers a serene environment and easy access to hiking trails, golf courses, and water activities, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a more relaxed lifestyle.

    Scenic beauty, outdoor recreation options, and lower property prices compared to some other Lake Como locations.

    Less active rental market, limited amenities compared to larger towns, and potential seasonal fluctuations in tourism.


    Bellagio is often referred to as the "Pearl of Lake Como" and is famous for its picturesque setting, cobbled streets, and grand villas, making it a popular tourist destination and a desirable place for property investment.

    High-end tourism, charming ambiance, and strong appeal to affluent buyers result in a potential for high rental income and property appreciation.

    Higher property prices and limited availability of investment properties due to high demand.


    Lenno is a tranquil village with beautiful lakefront promenades and historical landmarks, attracting tourists and property investors seeking a quieter lakeside retreat.

    Peaceful environment, relatively lower property prices, and potential for rental income during peak tourist seasons.

    Less vibrant rental market compared to larger towns, limited amenities, and potential seasonality in tourism.


    Tremezzo boasts stunning views, elegant villas, and well-maintained gardens, making it an appealing location for luxury property investors and high-end tourism.

    Luxury property market, strong tourist interest, and potential for upscale rentals result in attractive investment opportunities.

    High property prices in prime areas and potential reliance on seasonal tourism.


    Lecco is a thriving city with a mix of urban amenities and natural beauty, attracting both young professionals and tourists, making it a potential location for property investment.

    Diverse economy, vibrant rental market, and a mix of property types to cater to different investor preferences.

    Property prices in certain areas might be relatively high, and the lakeside might be more crowded compared to smaller towns.


    Colico is a laid-back town with beautiful beaches and water sports facilities, appealing to outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for a more affordable lakeside property.

    Lower property prices compared to more popular towns, potential for water-based tourism, and a relaxed lifestyle.

    Less active rental market, limited amenities, and slightly remote location from other popular Lake Como attractions.

    Life in the region of Lake Como

    The economic landscape of Lake Como is largely driven by tourism, which is buoyed by the area's stunning natural beauty and luxurious accommodations. Additionally, the region is home to a number of small businesses and family-owned enterprises, which provide goods and services to the local population.

    What expats usually like the most about Lake Como is the stunning scenery and the relaxed lifestyle. They also enjoy the array of outdoor activities such as sailing, swimming, and hiking in the nearby mountains.

    Access to healthcare in the region of Lake Como is generally good, with most towns having a local doctor's office or medical clinic.

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    Renting out in the region of Lake Como

    This section is for those who are looking to purchase a property not to live in themselves, but to rent it out and make an income from the rental.


    According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in Italy is 74%, which is average.

    When people buy in the region of Lake Como it's usually to live there, and not to rent out (or at least not to long-term tenants).

    If you decide to rent out long-term, you might want to target people looking for a tranquil, peaceful lifestyle in a picturesque setting. Lake Como is a popular destination for affluent retirees, second-home buyers, and those seeking a tranquil escape from the city.

    Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

    Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

    Apartment in Como

    Local residents, professionals

    City living, lake views

    $1200 - $3000

    Villa in Bellagio

    Tourists, retirees

    Luxury, lakeside living

    $2500 - $7000

    Apartment in Varenna

    Travelers, nature enthusiasts

    Quaint village experience

    $1000 - $2500

    House in Menaggio

    Families, retirees

    Lakefront access, community

    $1800 - $4000

    Now, you will probably ask us about the yields. Unlike for other places, it would be difficult to give you the average rental yields in the region of Lake Como due to insufficient long-term rental properties available for analysis. Also, it's quite diverse. For example, rental yields in Como and Bellagio are quite different from those in smaller lakeside towns.

    Finally, know that, in Italy, the taxes are around 21% of the total rental income.


    You could also decide to rent short-term to tourists visiting Lake Como for its stunning views and its historical villas, as well as business travelers attending conferences in the area.

    If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the towns of Bellagio, Menaggio, and Varenna, which are all popular tourist destinations on the lake. Additionally, properties in the small villages located along the lake's western shore, such as Tremezzo and Lenno, can be a great choice for rental potential.

    Currently, there are approximately 2,500 active Airbnb listings in the region of Lake Como, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $160, which is quite high.

    You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in the region of Lake Como can make around $2100 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 62%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Lake Como then?

Absolutely, buying a property in Lake Como is a fantastic idea if you have the financial means and a clear purpose for it. The region's stunning landscapes, historic towns, and outdoor activities make it an idyllic location for a second home or a vacation retreat.

Plus, if you plan to rent it out to tourists or long-term tenants, Lake Como's popularity as a tourist destination offers excellent income potential. With stable property values and potential for appreciation, it can be a smart investment, especially given Italy's expected economic growth.

The diverse range of property types ensures there's something for everyone, from luxurious lakeside villas to charming cottages and modern apartments.

However, it's not a great idea if you're on a tight budget, looking for flexibility, or don't plan to use the property frequently. Lake Como is known for its high property prices, and the costs of ownership, including maintenance and taxes, can be substantial. If you prefer flexibility and want to explore different areas, renting is a better choice.

Additionally, buying property in Italy can be complex and costly, with potential pitfalls related to regulations and geological hazards. While the market has been stable, like any real estate market, it carries risks.

In summary, Lake Como is a dream destination for property buyers with the means and purpose, but it's not for everyone, especially those with budget constraints, a preference for flexibility, or limited usage. Thorough research and professional advice are crucial before taking the plunge.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Lake Como

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Italy. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Lake Como

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.