One of Europe’s oldest cities, Rome is many centuries old and the capital city of modern Italy. It includes Vatican City, the world’s smallest country and home of Pope Francis, supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church. It’s also known for some of the best-known sites of historical interest such as the Colosseum, the Catacombs and the Pantheon.
Rome’s unrivalled status as a centre for antiquities and archaeological treasures helps to explain why it is one of the world’s most visited European cities, alongside London and Paris. Almost 10 million tourists visit Rome each year, helping to drive growth in GDP by 1.7% in 2017.
Highly accessible, Rome is benefiting from a series of infrastructure projects, including the upgrade of Fiumicino Airport, which was recently awarded two accolades for the most improved airport.
Rome’s Metro lines are also in the process of being upgraded and expanded, helping to relieve road traffic congestion and improve connections across the city. In May 2018, the Metro’s Line C was linked to the rest of the city’s Metro network via a new station at San Giovanni.
The housing market in Rome suffered big losses during the financial crisis and has struggled to recover. However, 2017 marked a turning point with house price growth of 3% over the year, and this growth continued into 2018.
Despite the recent growth, residential property in Rome is relatively affordable in a global context with an average price of $320 per sq ft in 2017. Prime property prices at $537psf are particularly low compared to other European cities, for example London and Paris, where prime property prices exceed $1,000psf.
The culture in Rome means families tend to pass properties down through future generations, creating a shortage of housing available to rent. Almost 70% of households in Rome own their own home. Consequently, average rents are higher than the average across cities in this report. This combined with lower prices result in attractive average yield of 5.7% in 2018.