The residential sector is the largest in the real estate market in Italy, accounting for more than 90 percent of total transactions. Following the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the residential sector in Italy appears to have recovered in recent years, registering positive growth rates year-on-year. After decreasing between 2008 and 2013, the number of transactions reached 604 thousand in 2019. When considering regional figures, Lombardy accounted for almost one in four transactions in the residential real estate sector. Also, in 2019, all regions in the country recorded an increase in terms of transaction value in the sector. In absolute numbers, Lombardy performed the best: the transaction value in the residential real estate sector in the region amounted to approximately 23 billion euros. Homeownership in Italy reached 72.4 percent in 2018, one of the highest rates in Western Europe. Low interest rates and decreasing house prices led to renewed interest in the real estate market in Italy. Despite not reaching pre-crisis levels, an increase in the volume of mortgages stipulated for house purchase also indicates a positive trend for the sector.
On the other hand, the non-residential sector accounts for a small share of the real estate market in Italy. The number of transactions involving commercial or industrial properties, for instance, is significantly lower than that of the residential sector. In major cities, however, commercial spaces are in high demand, and attract many investors, both domestic and foreign. Investments in Italy, however, remain low compared to other European countries such as the UK, Germany, and France. Also, they appear to focus on Italy's two major cities, Milan and Rome. For instance, nearly 90 percent of total investments in office real estate in the country involve properties located in the two cities.