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Buying a property in Milan: a complete guide

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

Interested in buying a nice property in Milan? You're not alone!

Many people are fascinated by Milan's fashion and design scene and dream of owning a stylish apartment or a luxurious penthouse in this city.

Does it make sense from a financial perspective, though? Are property prices increasing in Milan? How much does it cost? Is it wiser to invest in Brera or Navigli? And the taxes? Where are the best rental yields?

We've got it all sorted. No worries.

The Investropa team has extensively researched this market. Actually, we've compiled all our findings in one pack. Get it now.

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

How's the real estate market in Milan?

How is the property market faring? Let's gather and interpret the data to know for sure.

Property types

In Milan, there are various types of properties available for sale to cater to different needs and preferences.

These include apartments, which are common and come in various sizes, from studios to multi-bedroom units, suitable for individuals or families. You can also find townhouses and villas that offer more space and often come with gardens or outdoor areas.

Additionally, there are commercial properties like offices and shops available for purchase, which can be a great investment opportunity.

Whether you're looking for a cozy city apartment or a spacious suburban home, Milan offers a diverse range of properties to suit your requirements.

Better to buy or rent?

(If you plan to use it yourself and not as a rental)

If Milan has captured your heart as your city of choice, you might be considering whether it's better to buy a property or opt for renting in this stylish Italian city.

Obviously, it's better to buy if you are looking for a long-term investment that can increase in value over time.

Our advice? Use the property price-to-rent ratio as your decision-making compass. Use this metric to see how rental income can help you pay off the property over time.

According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Milan is around 29.5, which is above the world average.

This value indicates that it would take you 30 years of paying rents before you can own a property in Milan.

Property prices in Milan

On average, according to the last data from National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), purchasing a property in Milan would cost you around $9,900 per square meter.

Obviously, there are some big differences. The value of a square meter for a luxury apartment in Milan might differ from a suburban villa in Sesto San Giovanni. We actually offer a more in-depth analysis in our pack for buying property in Milan and in Italy.

To give you some context, it is similar to the property prices you can find in Paris currently.

Also, housing prices in Milan are 10% cheaper than in Como.

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Milan are probably Brera, Zona Tortona, and Ticinese, while the cheapest ones are likely Quarto Oggiaro, Barona, and Baggio.

Milan 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.

Don't overlook this while weighing the pros and cons of buying a property in Milan.

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 Milan it's a good thing because when the economy grows, people often experience an increase in wealth, it typically translates to a surge in housing costs.

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.

Moreover, the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index reveals that the property market in Milan is also fairly valued, with an index value of 0.34 (values below 0.5 mean fair valuation).

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 Milan

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

Buying process

In our pack, we've explained the entire buying process in detail. We've provided clear information about prices and yields based on the area, guidance on negotiating the price, and options for securing a mortgage.

Now, we're offering you a simpler version, step-by-step, to make it easier for you to grasp.

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

  1. Obtain a Codice Fiscale (Italian tax code).
  2. Engage a real estate agent or visit local agencies (agenzie immobiliari) to find properties.
  3. Request a Visura Catastale, providing property information.
  4. Sign a Proposta d'Acquisto (purchase proposal) and pay a deposit.
  5. Conduct property surveys and due diligence (Esame di Titoli) with a Geometra (surveyor).
  6. Obtain the Dichiarazione di Conformità (certificate of conformity) from the seller.
  7. Secure a mortgage with an Italian bank (if needed).
  8. Sign the Contratto Preliminare di Vendita (preliminary sales agreement) before a notary.
  9. Pay the balance and purchase taxes (Imposta di Registro and VAT).
  10. Obtain property insurance (Assicurazione Immobiliare).
  11. Register the property with the Italian Land Registry (Agenzia del Territorio).
  12. Complete the transfer (Trasferimento di Proprietà) and receive the keys to the property.

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 Milan

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buying property in Milan

Where to find a property

Discover your ideal property in Milan with the help of these websites:

  • Immobiliare - Italy's premier real estate portal, providing an innovative platform for property listings and searches.
  • Green-Acres - Europe's top platform for second homes, featuring an extensive range of properties for sale in Italy and other countries.
  • Immobiliare Italiano - Offering a wide variety of Italian real estate and luxury properties for sale, catering to diverse preferences and budgets.
  • Houses of Italy - A licensed real estate agency providing a selection of properties for sale across different regions of Italy.
  • Italian Houses for Sale - A property website showcasing a broad assortment of properties for sale in various Italian regions, 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.

What you can get

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Milan is $9,900. A 1-bedroom property, measuring 60 square meters, would cost around $594,000, and a 2-bedroom property, measuring 85 square meters, would cost around $842,000.

However, prices will differ based on the attributes of the property and its specific location.

Premium property locations in Milan usually have higher prices. An apartment in Brera might be around $1,140,000, whereas a condominium in Porta Romana could be priced at $1,050,000.

Some locations are less expensive. You may find a property in Lambrate for $460,000, or a property in Bruzzano priced only at $380,000.

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

Common mistakes

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

  • Zoning restrictions: Strict regulations on property use and renovations may limit development plans.
  • Heritage protection: Historical buildings have preservation rules that affect remodeling and maintenance.
  • Notary system: Involvement of a notary for property transactions adds legal complexities and costs.
  • Land registry delays: Slow bureaucratic processes may cause delays in property registration.
  • 'Catasto' discrepancies: Inaccuracies in land registry data can lead to boundary disputes.
  • Condominium regulations: Shared property ownership requires adherence to specific rules and fees.
  • Local taxes: Italy's complex tax system may result in unexpected property tax obligations.
  • Seismic risk: Some areas in Milan are prone to earthquakes, necessitating special considerations for property safety.

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 Milan

Living in Milan is a great experience, with a wide range of activities available and a vibrant cultural and nightlife scene, making it an ideal place to buy property.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Milan is relatively high compared to other Italian cities, due to its strong economy and large population. However, the city offers a wide range of affordable housing and other amenities, making it an attractive option for those looking to live in a vibrant and cosmopolitan city.

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

  • Monthly rent for a stylish apartment in the fashionable Brera neighborhood: €1,500-€2,500.
  • A glass of local Milanese wine (e.g., Nettare dei Santi or Negroni Sbagliato) at a trendy bar: €5-€8.
  • Monthly transportation pass for trams and metro within Milan: €35-€60.
  • A plate of traditional Milanese risotto alla Milanese at a local trattoria: €12-€18.
  • Admission to the Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper: €12-€18.
  • Monthly membership at a Milan-based fitness studio or yoga studio: €40-€80.
  • Fresh produce from the Mercato Metropolitano for a week: €20-€40.
  • A bottle of local Amaro (e.g., Fernet-Branca or Averna) from a liquor store: €10-€20.


We want to show information in an easy-to-understand way. So, we have made a summary table that shows the different areas in Milan. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses


Navigli is a vibrant neighborhood known for its picturesque canals and lively nightlife, with numerous bars and restaurants.

Great nightlife, beautiful canals, and cultural attractions.

Can get crowded, limited parking options.


Brera is an artsy district filled with galleries, boutiques, and charming streets, perfect for art enthusiasts and shoppers.

Rich cultural scene, stylish shops, and cozy atmosphere.

Higher cost of living, can be touristy.


Isola is an up-and-coming neighborhood with a trendy vibe, offering a mix of modern architecture and historic charm.

Hip and diverse community, good transport links.

Still undergoing development, limited green spaces.

Porta Romana

Porta Romana features a blend of tradition and modernity, with its historic gate and upscale shopping streets.

Excellent shopping options, historical landmarks.

Can be pricey, limited green areas.

Porta Venezia

Porta Venezia is a lively area known for its beautiful park and mix of cultures, with many ethnic restaurants and shops.

Large park, diverse dining options, and good public transportation.

Busy traffic, can be crowded.


Cadorna is a central neighborhood known for its transportation hub and proximity to famous landmarks like Castello Sforzesco.

Great transport connections, historic sites nearby.

Less residential, more commercial.

Porta Garibaldi

Porta Garibaldi is a modern district with tall skyscrapers, shopping centers, and the main railway station.

Major transportation hub, modern architecture.

Limited green spaces, can be crowded.

Porta Nuova

Porta Nuova is an upscale area featuring contemporary architecture, luxury boutiques, and fine dining restaurants.

Stylish and trendy, high-end shopping and dining.

Expensive, limited affordable housing.

Centro Storico

Centro Storico is the historical center of Milan, boasting iconic landmarks, shopping streets, and traditional Italian eateries.

Rich history, cultural attractions.

Touristy, high prices in some areas.

Porta Ticinese

Porta Ticinese is known for its lively atmosphere, with a mix of bars, vintage shops, and proximity to the historic Ticinese gate.

Eclectic and youthful vibe, nightlife.

Noisy at night, limited parking.


Lambrate is an upcoming neighborhood with a student population, offering a blend of affordable living and creative spaces.

Affordable housing, artistic community.

Less central, fewer upscale amenities.


Bicocca is a modern district with a university campus, shopping centers, and a growing business area.

Close to the university, developing business opportunities.

Limited historical charm, busy traffic.

Life in Milan

Milan is the economic capital of Italy, and is home to a wide range of industries, including finance, fashion, media, and manufacturing. It is also the headquarters of many multinational corporations and is a major international business hub.

According to IMF data, the GDP of Milan accounts for nearly 16% of Italy's GDP. Getting property in a wealthy city is a good choice because more jobs, people like living there, and property prices stay reliable.

What expats usually like the most about Milan is its access to great food, culture and fashion, as well as its vibrant nightlife and close proximity to the Italian Alps. Additionally, the city also has a great public transportation system and efficient infrastructure.

However, the crime rate index of Milan, which is around 49, could be better, which is something to take into consideration if you're thinking about living there. Examples of crimes in Milan include pickpocketing, purse snatching, and drug dealing, which are mostly committed by the local population and do not usually affect the expat population.

A good point for a property investor - Milan has a mass rapid transit system, called the Milan Metro, which consists of severak lines and more than 100 stations.

Access to healthcare in Milan is excellent, with a Healthcare Index of 72. A good healthcare system will always make a place more attractive, which is positive for real estate.

Finally, it is worth noting that Milan has 5 universities ranked in the top worldwide: Humanitas University, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, University of Milan, University of Milan-Bicocca and Politecnico di Milano.

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Renting out in Milan

If you're considering purchasing property solely for renting and earning income, you'll find valuable information in this section.


Tenant Profiles in Milan

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

It means that, if you decide to buy and rent out in Milan, there will be a good number of people who can become your potential tenants.

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target young professionals, students, and expats looking for short-term and medium-term rentals in Milan. Alternatively, you could also target families looking for long-term rentals in 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 $

Studio in Brera

Artists, professionals

Creative atmosphere, galleries

$1,000 - $1,800

1-Bedroom Apartment in Navigli

Youthful crowd, expats

Canalside living, nightlife

$1,200 - $2,200

2-Bedroom Flat in Porta Venezia

Families, professionals

Park access, shopping

$1,500 - $2,800

Apartment in Isola

Youthful professionals

Trendy district, tech hubs

$1,000 - $1,900

3-Bedroom House in Corso Magenta

Families, diplomats

Historical area, cultural sites

$2,000 - $3,500

Apartment in Porta Romana

Professionals, couples

Central location, elegance

$1,200 - $2,300

1-Bedroom Flat in Garibaldi

Young professionals

Modern living, entertainment

$1,100 - $2,000

Rental yields

As of today, rental yields in Milan are within the 3-4% range. It's low. A good rental yield is typically considered to be around 7% or higher (you might know it already).

Properties in the city centre of Milan tend to have the best rental yields due to high demand from tourists and business travelers. Additionally, properties with multiple bedrooms in more affordable neighbourhoods can also offer good yields, as these are often sought after by young professionals and students.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.

Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Milan are taxed at 21%, which is not bad.


You could also decide to rent short-term to tourists, business travelers, and students studying abroad in Milan. Additionally, you could rent to locals looking for temporary housing during relocation or renovation.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the Navigli area and the Duomo district. These areas are both popular tourist destinations and great for short-term rentals.

You will have some competition though - there are around 17,000 Airbnb listings in Milan. The average daily rate stands around $141, 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 Milan can make around $2200 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 75%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Milan then?

Buying a property in Milan can be a smart move for some, but it's not a one-size-fits-all decision. If you're planning to make Milan your long-term home or if you're financially stable and looking for a reliable investment, it's worth considering.

Milan's real estate market has a history of stability, and the city offers a blend of culture, business opportunities, and lifestyle that can make it a compelling choice. Additionally, if you intend to generate rental income, Milan's high demand from tourists and businesses can work in your favor.

However, it's not all roses. If you're only planning a short stay or your financial situation is uncertain, renting might be a more practical choice. Real estate transactions involve hefty upfront costs, and market volatility, though historically not extreme, can impact your investment.

Moreover, owning property comes with responsibilities like maintenance and management, which can be burdensome if you're not prepared.

In summary, buying property in Milan can be a winning strategy for the right circumstances—long-term residence, financial stability, and investment goals align well with Milan's real estate market.

Yet, if your stay is short, finances are shaky, or you're averse to property management, it might be wiser to rent and enjoy Milan without the commitment and risks of property ownership.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Milan

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 Milan

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.