Can Milan compete with the real estate market stars?

Everyone talks about London, wondering if a “bubble” is here to come. Many comment the (controlled) slowing down of prices in Singapore real estate market.

In the mean time Milan rises to 12th place in European ranking for non-residential best opportunities.

Why is Milan a good choice for investing in real estate? There is something unique in the Milan offer. The asset of the city is full of heritage building, well conserved and usually already renovated and retrofitted to the state-of-the-art regulation in terms of sustainability.

This can be very attractive to retail big brands and the new H&M shop recently inaugurated in the very centre of Milan, next to Duomo, is the concrete demonstration.

There is a second reason to invest in non-residential real estate in Milan: shops are integrated in a very fashionable context, where every area has a different marketing positioning and developed a very specific appeal for different targets. Places like Corso Buenos Aires and via Torino (both central) are commonly called “centro commerciale naturale” (outdoor spontaneous mall).

The shopping experience is part of the everyday life, shops are part of the urban landscape and of the walking to work.

Compared with the shopping scene in the emerging markets, Milan has virtually nothing to share. There are only three department stores, located in historical buildings and one of them (La Rinascente) got its name not from a naming expert but from Gabriele d’Annunzio, famous Italian poet.

Malls are not existing in town and out of the city are devoted to mid-low brands. The prototype of the retail offer in Milan could be considered the area next to Montenapoleone, densely populated by fashion and luxury brands, but other places are richer in terms of diversity and variety of goods.

Last, but not least, the interest for real estate in Milan was shown by Qatar and Blackstone acquired a stake in Porta Nuova and also bought Credit Suisse’s Milan headquarter American group Blackstone acquired for €130 million the former Post office building (Palazzo delle Poste) in Piazza Cordusio and a historical building once hosting the offices of the Bank of Sicily.

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