The Southern region of Italy ( Calabria ) has been overlooked and regarded as the "Poor cousin" of the north.
Things are about to change: domestic and EU money will be spent on what is formally known as the cohesion plan. This will bring the south in line with the north in terms of infrastructure, industry and tourism. Several other factors have contributed to the regions development.
The Telegraph newspaper commented that since Ryanair added Lamezia to its route, Calabria has raised its profile and become fashionable.
When The Sunday Times placed Calabria in the number one position for its 2007 review of the best beachholidays in the world, everyone´s attentions turned to the southernmost region of mainland Italy dubbed ‘the toeon the Italian boot Five provinces, Crotone, Catanzaro, Vibo Valenta, Cosenza and Reggio Calabria make up the Calabria region. The area is serviced by 3 airports Lamezia (North West), Bari (North East) and Reggiohottest Calabria (South).
With Ionian sea on the east and the Tyrrhenian on the west this peninsular is surrounded by Blue Flag beaches (the highest accolade achievable). What makes the Calabrian property market interesting is it is a emerging area within an established country.
Property prices are well below Italy's national average and when comparing prices with that of similarly picturesque and accessible destinations hottest Calabria offers exceptional value. The prices today, in selected areas, allow plenty of scope for capital growth and when the market establishes itself rental returns will increase in parallel to the volume of tourism.
The hottest Calabria Region has a population of roughly 2 million people and is characterised by a high proportion of youthful and highly qualified human resources: approximately 40% of the population is made up of under 30´s and the education level is a respectable 24.7% with high school diplomas and 6.1% with university degrees.
The region's productive system benefits from a healthily dynamic entrepreneurial class. It has over 154,000 active companies, of which 1,600 are in the ICT sector and are mainly concentrated around the area of the University of Calabria . The high quality of scientific research in the region's three universities has done much to orientate production towards the promotion of ICT.Calabria's geography, together with its excellent climate and uncontaminated nature, make it one of the major summer tourism areas in Italy.
Calabrias low cost of living, the abundance of well equipped industrial areas, the availability of strong incentives, its strategic position at the centre of the Mediterranean growth area, and the presence of the port of Gioia Tauro (one of the biggest transshipment ports in Europe) are the main factors that make the region attractive for investors.
The region is classified as an EU Objective 1 area and start-up SMEs can benefit from the highest levels of aid available anywhere in Italy.
The respected financial correspondent, Bill Blevins commented in The Times newspaper that "The publicity is still in its early days and, although more developed than it was, I believe that property prices in this region have a good chance of increasing significantly over the next few years. Tourism and holiday housing is a prime target for growth as prices are still lower than in many comparable locations. A price gain of 15%-20% over the next 12 months may be a bit optimistic but, as emerging markets go, Calabria looks a reasonable proposition and you could expect to see double-digit growth".