According to the Italian Housing Market Survey carried out between January 2 and February 1 2019 based on 1,476 real estate agents, in the fourth quarter of 2018 the balance between the percentage of estate agents reporting an increase in house prices and those signaling a decrease was again negative and stable compared with the previous three months. The discount margin on initial asking prices declined, as well as the selling times, which returned to the average levels recorded in the last two years.
The cessation of listings was mainly due to a decline in the number of purchasing offers compared with the third quarter, attributed to asking prices that were deemed too high. In the face of an overall slight reduction in demand, the shift towards transactions involving more energy-efficient properties continued.
The share of house purchases financed with a mortgage loan remained high, as did the loan-to-value ratio. Expectations of estate agents regarding the real estate market continued to be broadly favourable and stable across all time horizons.