Hot Spot: Sardinia

With its ruggedly beautiful coastline of craggy inlets and emerald bays, the Mediterranean island of Sardinia is often compared with Majorca 30 years ago. Still relatively unknown to many non-Italians, its inaccessibility has held back the onset of package tourism and vast swathes of coast remain remarkably untouched by concrete.

According to the Telegraph, the glitzy north-eastern pocket known as the Costa Smeralda is exceptional, with its billionaire residents and St Tropez feel, but the rest of the island is beginning to appeal to less affluent buyers.

While the Costa’s prices are being inflated by Russian oligarchs (Roman Abramovich bought a villa there for £24 million [€30 million] last year), the growth in low-cost airline routes is fuelling a less high-octane boom in northern Sardinia, where Brits are snapping up holiday homes for nearer £238,000 (€300,000).

Four low-cost airlines now fly into the port of Alghero, which has become popular with British and Irish buyers.

How to Buy In Sardinia:

  • The purchase process is the same as in mainland Italy. You will need an Italian tax code (codice fiscale), Italian bank account and plenty of patience. Outside the Costa Smeralda, few agents speak English, and many properties don’t reach the open market.
  • Try to negotiate on asking prices, and to get the price fixed according to the exchange rate when you sign the proposta d’acquisto (buying proposal) so that you won’t be affected if pound falls further against the euro.
  • TVA (VAT) of 10 per cent must be paid on new-build property, on re-sales, it is 10 per cent of the “book value” of the property – which could be a third of its current market value. Estate agent fees are 3 per cent for both parties.