“People look at the location, the property type, the resale opportunities, the appearance and quality of the building, the traffic situation, facilities, and even the view out of the windows,” he explains.
Stelline Real Estate is the Real Estate Owned Company of Credito Valtellinese Banking Group in northern Italy. All the property-related activities of the Banking Group are handled by the professionals of the Real Estate Area operating in the offices in Milan, Rome and Acireale. It is a network of competent and skilled employees and associates in all sectors: architecture and design, property and facility management, tax and legal, as well as evaluative.
“Our goal is to preserve and, if possible, enhance the value of the properties secured by bank loans, known as collaterals,” continues Mr. Grattirola, who was an architect for 16 years before joining Stelline in 1997. “When, for example, we find a building site that, for whatever reason, cannot be completed – maybe the money has run out, or the investors have overstretched themselves – we analyze the project and consider what we can make out of it, either with the original plans or with something completely new. We are interested in anything – residential or commercial. We buy the property initiative, complete it and then resell it.”
Stelline has recently developed a site that was originally planned as a resort with a beauty farm and instead built residences. “The restoration of historic buildings and the enhancement of a site with residential property is, without a doubt, our strength,” underlines Mr. Grattirola.
Banks and real estate funds number among Stelline’s clients. “We always achieve what we set out to do, and that gives us credibility with our clients,” the Managing Director adds. In Italy, property prices have fallen in recent years so that supply and demand are nearly equal, allowing the number of transactions to increase.
One exception is Milan. “In contrast to the norm, property values in Milan City remained stable and are now increasing again,” notes Mr. Grattirola. “80% of the Italian population own the buildings they live in. Buyers today are more savvy and more demanding in terms of their purchase criteria.”
The property market in Italy is very active, and Mr. Grattirola sees huge potential through urban regeneration and the renovation of buildings. “We have many obsolete buildings and run-down suburbs,” he says. “Many buildings, mostly located in the suburbs, ought to be demolished and replaced with new, high-quality buildings. We have to find a way to make city suburbs a good place to live. I also see some great opportunities in the area of property asset management.” Clearly, there is much to be done in Italian real estate.