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Buying a property in Lombardy: a complete guide

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property investment Lombardy

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

Considering buying a nice property in Lombardy? You're not alone!

Many people are intrigued by Lombardy's Italian beauty and dream of owning a luxurious villa or a stylish apartment in this region.

Is it financially viable, though? Are property prices increasing in Lombardy? What is the price per sqm? Should you consider buying in Milan or Lake Como? What are the taxes? What rental yields should I expect?

We have the answers.

The Investropa team has done their homework and know this market well. Actually, we have condensed all our findings in a pack. Get it now.

In this article, we'll provide you with helpful information.

How is the property market in Lombardy?

Is the property market going up or down? Opinions vary. As for us, we don’t listen to rumors. We use up-to-date data and statistics, to ensure our conclusions are well-founded.

Property types

In Lombardy, you can find a variety of properties for sale, including apartments, houses, villas, and rural properties.

Apartments are often available in urban areas like Milan, offering convenient city living. Houses and villas provide more space and can be found in both suburban and rural settings, ideal for those seeking a quieter lifestyle.

Rural properties, such as farmhouses, offer a rustic charm and are located in the picturesque countryside, perfect for those who enjoy a serene environment.

Whether you're looking for a modern city apartment or a charming countryside retreat, Lombardy has a range of property options to suit different preferences.

What's better: buy or rent?

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

Whether you've already made Lombardy your home or are contemplating it for the future, you might be wondering about the advantages of buying a property versus renting in this Italian region.

Generally, buying is a better choice than renting in Lombardy due to the region's robust economy and high property values.

On the other hand, if you value flexibility, renting might be the better choice.

Property pricing in Lombardy

On average, according to the last data from National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), purchasing a property in Lombardy would cost you around $8,500 per square meter.

Of course, prices vary. The value of a square meter for a property in Lombardy might differ from an apartment in Milan. We actually offer a more in-depth analysis in our pack for buying property in Lombardy and in Italy.

To give you a better idea, it is similar to the prices you can find in a city like Lucca.

Also, housing prices in Lombardy are 23% cheaper than in the French Riviera.

The most expensive places in Lombardy are probably Milan and the surrounding towns, while the cheapest are likely to be located in the rural areas.

Lombardy 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.

It is something to have in mind when wondering whether it's a good investment to buy a property in Lombardy.

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 intend to invest in real estate in Lombardy it's a good thing because, as the economy grows, people's incomes (usually) increase, motivating them to invest in real estate, which causes a rise in property demand and prices.

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 Lombardy

Buying real estate in Lombardy can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and updated information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Lombardy and in Italy.

Buying process

In the pack of documents we have built, we've covered everything about buying a property, from the contacts you'll need to the taxes that need to be paid, and even where to look for available properties.

Now, we're presenting a simpler version to make it easier for you to understand and follow along.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Lombardy, Italy:

  1. Obtain an Italian tax code (Codice Fiscale) and open an Italian bank account.
  2. Engage a certified real estate agent (agente immobiliare) familiar with Lombardy's market.
  3. Visit properties of interest and consider their urban planning certificates (Certificato di Destinazione Urbanistica).
  4. Make an offer through a formal written document (Proposta d'Acquisto).
  5. If accepted, sign a preliminary purchase agreement (Contratto preliminare di compravendita or Compromesso).
  6. Pay a deposit, typically 10% of the property price, into the seller's bank account.
  7. Conduct due diligence, including verifying property title (Atto di Proprietà) and cadastral data (Visura Catastale).
  8. Engage a notary (Notaio) to draft the final deed (Atto di Vendita) and check for encumbrances.
  9. Sign the final deed, pay the remaining balance, and transfer ownership at the notary's office.
  10. Pay registration tax (Imposta di Registro) and mortgage tax (Imposta Ipotecaria).
  11. Register the property with the local Land Registry (Agenzia del Territorio).
  12. Obtain the keys and the updated property ownership document (Rogito).

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 Lombardy

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in Lombardy

Where to find a property

Explore these websites to find properties in Lombardy.

  • 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 Lombardy is $8,500. A 1-bedroom property, measuring 60 square meters, would cost approximately $510,000, while a 2-bedroom property, measuring 85 square meters, would cost approximately $723,000.

However, the cost of properties will fluctuate depending on both their characteristics and their location.

Investing in real estate in prime Lombardy locations often costs more. For approximately $2,070,000, you could get a residence in Milan, but a property in Como might be priced at $900,000.

On the other hand, some areas are more budget-friendly. You may find a house in Novara for $650,000, or a house in Lodi priced only at $540,000.

We give a more detailed breakdown in our full pack for buying property in Italy.

Common mistakes

Here are the specific pitfalls when buying a property in Lombardy, Italy:

  • Historical property restrictions and preservation rules.
  • Risks associated with seismic activity in earthquake-prone areas.
  • Agricultural zoning limitations affecting land use and development.
  • Unique property taxation laws and regional surcharges.
  • Challenging permit processes for non-EU buyers.
  • Potential presence of ancient property rights or easements.
  • Complex inheritance laws and family co-ownership complications.
  • Specific coastal property regulations and restrictions along Lake Como or Lake Garda.

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.

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

Living in Lombardy

Life in Lombardy is a wonderful mix of vibrant city life, beautiful countryside, and a rich culture, making it an ideal place for anyone looking to buy property.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Lombardy is generally higher than the rest of Italy due to the region's higher wages and strong economy. Prices for housing, groceries, and other goods and services are higher than the national average.

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

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the trendy neighborhood of Brera, Milan: $1500 per month.
  • Enjoying an "Aperol Spritz" at a lively bar in Navigli district: $6.
  • Monthly pass for the iconic yellow trams in Milan: $35.
  • Utilities (electricity, water) for a historic apartment in the Porta Venezia area: $180 per month.
  • A bottle of locally produced Franciacorta sparkling wine: $25.
  • Entrance fee to the La Scala Opera House: $50.
  • Monthly membership at a private sports club in Lake Como region: $120.
  • A kilogram of traditional "Bresaola della Valtellina" cured beef: $30.


Since we want to show information clearly, we've created a summary table that explains the different areas in Lombardy. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Place Description Strengths Weaknesses


Milan is the economic and financial hub of Italy, offering a diverse real estate market with high demand from professionals and students. It's known for its cultural attractions, fashion, and vibrant nightlife.

Strong rental demand, potential for high rental yields, diverse property options, and excellent transport links.

High property prices, stiff competition, and limited opportunities for new developments in the city center.


Bergamo is a historic city with a charming old town and picturesque surroundings. It's becoming increasingly popular among tourists and expats, creating a growing demand for short-term rentals.

Investment potential in short-term rentals, attractive historical properties, and good connectivity to other major cities in Lombardy.

Limited availability of large-scale property developments, and property prices in the old town can be relatively high.


Como is a beautiful lakeside city, attracting both tourists and property buyers seeking a serene environment. Its proximity to Switzerland adds to its allure.

High demand for vacation rentals, stunning lakefront properties, and potential for long-term appreciation.

Limited available land for new developments, and lakefront properties can be expensive.


Brescia is an industrial city with a growing economy and a lower cost of living compared to Milan. It offers opportunities for commercial and residential property investments.

Affordable property prices, diverse investment options, and a burgeoning local economy.

Less international appeal, and some areas may have higher crime rates.


Cremona is a small and charming city, renowned for its musical heritage and historic architecture. It attracts tourists and buyers looking for a tranquil Italian lifestyle.

Potential for niche tourism rentals, attractive historical properties, and a relaxed pace of life.

Limited investment opportunities, and the property market may not be as dynamic as larger cities.

Mantua (Mantova)

Mantua is a UNESCO World Heritage city with a rich cultural and artistic heritage. It's popular among history enthusiasts and offers a slower-paced lifestyle.

Potential for historical property investments, strong cultural appeal, and lower property prices compared to larger cities.

Smaller market with limited growth potential, and less demand compared to major cities like Milan.


Varese is a picturesque town surrounded by lakes and mountains. It's ideal for nature lovers and offers a more relaxed living environment.

Scenic views and natural attractions, potential for vacation rentals, and proximity to Milan and Switzerland.

Smaller market with limited investment opportunities, and property demand may be seasonal.


Lecco is a charming town located on Lake Como's eastern shore. It's known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities.

High demand for vacation rentals, beautiful lakefront properties, and a growing interest from tourists and outdoor enthusiasts.

Limited property inventory, and property prices can vary significantly depending on the location.


Sondrio is a small town nestled in the Alps, offering a peaceful and scenic setting. It's ideal for those seeking a mountain retreat.

Opportunities for chalet-style properties, breathtaking mountain views, and potential for niche tourism rentals.

Remote location with limited amenities, and the property market may not be as active as larger cities.


Monza is a historic city known for the Formula 1 Grand Prix held at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. It offers a mix of historical charm and modern amenities.

Good transport links to Milan, potential for short-term rentals during events, and a growing local economy.

Property prices can be relatively high, and the market may be more competitive.

Life in Lombardy

The economy of Lombardy is one of the most advanced and prosperous in Italy. It is the second-largest region in the country and home to many large companies, such as Fiat, Pirelli, and Telecom Italia. It has a strong industrial base, with the automotive, aerospace, and pharmaceutical sectors being particularly prominent.

What expats usually like the most in Lombardy is the region's rich culture and history, as well as its stunning natural beauty, including the Alps, lakes, and rolling hills. Additionally, they appreciate the region's bustling cities, such as Milan, Bergamo, and Brescia, which offer a variety of cultural activities, high-end shopping, and delicious cuisine.

Access to healthcare in Lombardy is generally good, with a well-developed public health system and a range of private health care options.

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Renting out in Lombardy

If you're interested in buying property not to live in, but to rent out and generate income, this section is for you.


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

When people buy in Lombardy it's usually to live there, and not to rent out.

If you decide to rent out long-term, you might want to target people who are relocating to Lombardy for work or study, or those who are looking for a more permanent home in the region. People who are looking to retire in the area are also likely to be interested in long-term rentals.

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 Milan

Professionals, students

City life, cultural attractions

$1200 - $3000

Villa in Lake Como

Tourists, retirees

Luxury, lakeside living

$2500 - $7000

Apartment in Bergamo

Local residents, professionals

Historic town, convenient amenities

$1000 - $2500

House in Brescia

Families, retirees

Suburban comfort, outdoor activities

$1800 - $4000

Now, you will probably ask us about the yields. Unlike other places, giving you an average rental yield for Lombardy is though. The region is quite varied. For example, rental yields in Milan and Bergamo are quite different from those in smaller 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 business travelers, tourists, and seasonal workers in Lombardy. Additionally, renting to students and interns in the area is another potential short-term rental option.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in Milan city centre, and in the lakeside towns such as Como, Lecco, and Varese.

Is it worth buying real estate in Lombardy then?

Buying a property in Lombardy, Italy, can be a fantastic idea for those who dream of indulging in the region's Italian beauty, culture, and luxurious lifestyle. Lombardy offers a diverse array of properties, from city apartments in Milan to charming countryside villas.

If you value long-term stability and investment potential, buying in Lombardy makes sense. The region boasts a robust economy, with strong property values, and is expected to see economic growth in the coming years, which typically drives property demand and prices. So, if you're looking for a property that can potentially appreciate over time, Lombardy is a viable option.

However, it's not all sunshine and roses. Buying property in Lombardy comes with its share of challenges, including historical property restrictions, seismic risks, and complex property taxation laws. It's essential to navigate these potential pitfalls with the help of experienced professionals and thorough research.

Furthermore, if you're considering renting out your property, Lombardy can be an attractive option for both long-term and short-term rentals, catering to various tenant profiles.

In summary, buying a property in Lombardy can be a rewarding investment if you're captivated by the region's allure and value long-term stability and growth potential. Still, it's crucial to be well-informed about the market and potential hurdles before taking the plunge.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Lombardy

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.

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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.