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Fabrica Immobiliare

Flash Interview: Fabrica Immobiliare on Italian Real Estate

Giovanni Maria Benucci of Fabrica Immobiliare SGR shares his thoughts on Italy’s real estate market.
2 MIN READ May 22, 2019

Ahead of the forthcoming Italia GRI investors’ conference in Milan, Giovanni Maria Benucci (CEO at Fabrica Immobiliare SGR) shared his thoughts on the Italian real estate market with the GRI Hub.

Fabrica Immobiliare SGR is a real estate asset manager based in Rome, Italy. It focuses on real estate funds dedicated to institutional investors. 
How do you see the long-term future of Italian real estate?

Currently the Italian real estate market could be depicted as a mixture of light and shadow. On the one hand we are living in a period of difficulty and lack of confidence, due to the uncertainties of the general economic situation and economic slow-down of the main European economies burdened by the weight of domestic debt. On the other hand, attracting opportunities might be sought in the Italian market leveraging on its relative immatureness.

A listed real estate market yet to be developed compared to the other countries, a friendlier legal framework for urban regeneration and reuse of obsolete areas, and the establishment of a professional residential market – lacking so far - will open in the future interesting spaces of development in real estate sector currently not yet exploited.
The above mentioned milestones should be seen as the drivers of the strategic choices in the near future, even if there’s still a lot to be done before they are achieved, but even this side of the development is an opportunity for our market.

Which real estate trends in Italy are you tracking most closely these days?

Mainly the trends related to the social and demographic dynamics, which in our opinion, are opening new interesting opportunities in the residential market. 

According to the latest ISTAT research, the number of Italian families is growing more than proportionally as the population due to the fact that the traditional Italian family is fragmenting into smaller nucleus, monoparental families, separated families, elderly families, so that in the main cities the average number of family members is 2.3. These new families have different needs compared to the previous ones: smaller spaces, a more flexible relationship with the house, a more efficient use of the spaces and so on. This is opening a new demand for residential lettings, and the old available stock is unfitted to supply this kind of new demand. There will be more space for professional investors in this new sector of residential dedicated to renting. 

On the other hand, the Italian population is ageing (currently the over-65 people are 22% of the population and will be 30% in 2037), while the actual offer for the residential demand of aged people is absolutely absent and tailored products will need to be built for this kind of increasing demand, in line with the consolidated trends of the other continental markets.

Do you see a possibility for any sub-sectors to turn into core assets in the near future?

Yes, indeed the traditional Italian residential market will be fragmented, as is already happening in the rest of Europe, in different residential sectors, whilst the residential space will turn into the infrastructure of the specific activity acted in it: multifamily, student housing, senior housing and so on and - considering the recent trends- all these sectors will be focused on renting.

Giovanni Maria Benucci will be joining over 450 senior executives for two days of candid discussions on the european real estate market at Europe GRI 2019 (Paris, 11-12 September).

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