Foreign investors are buying in the most scenic locations

Villas in San Vito Lo Capo, Castellamare and Scopello are in high demand. Anyone on a budget would be wise to look in the historic centres, where properties ripe for renovation cost less than €1,000 per square metre
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Settling down in the city of Trapani is a matter that essentially concerns the local inhabitants. As existing housing stocks currently outstrip demand, there are no expansion projects currently in the pipeline. Instead, beautiful historic buildings in the old town are being renovated. A prime example of this is in Marsala, which boasts them in abundance. People buying on a budget tend to opt for relatively new 1980s apartments, which may not come with a sea view. In contrast, villas, houses with a view and rural bagli are highly sought-after by foreign investors or Italians returning home from the north. As architect Anna Giustolisi explains: “Foreigners are looking for premium investments in the Stagnone area. Moreover, renovations tend to favour local materials, natural stone and majolica, which are now very much back in fashion.” Estate agents have constantly got their fingers on the pulse of the market. As Manfredi Muscolino, owner of GDM Immobiliare of Trapani confirms, “The Trapani market has seen a resurgence following the lull of lockdown. We have sold quite well in the city but prices remain low (€700 - €900 per square metre). Villas go for around €1,000 per square metre, while rural bagli ripe for renovation are sold on a case-by-case basis. For example, the asking price for a 1,000-m2 baglio with 24 hectares of land in San Vito Lo Capo would be around €1.5 million.” According to Deborah Oddo of Engel & Volkers (, “The most sought-after locations are Castellammare del Golfo, Favignana and San Vito Lo Capo,” adding that “Foreign buyers are on the rise and account for around 25% of our entire clientele. They primarily come from France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and the USA. Prices range from €1,200 to €3,500 per square metre, with San Vito Lo Capo boasting the most expensive properties. Our local clients tend to favour properties in the municipalities of Trapani, Erice and Valderice. The entire province also attracts clients from central and northern Italy. The most sought-after properties are traditional Sicilian historic buildings, such as old farmhouses and houses with sea views and direct access to the beach, as well as detached houses close to the city or apartments with Sicilianstyle frescoes and/or tiles, potentially in aristocratic buildings. Not forgetting one of the greatest symbols of rural Sicilian architecture: the baglio (up to €1.3 million).” 

A very popular location isCastellammare del Golfo (where Italian President Mattarella comes from). “This is a charming seaside village where the market is rising sharply,” explains Giacomo Messina, owner of Alka immobiliare (, to Ville & Casali. “This is where emotions are sold. For a house in need of renovation but in an appealing location, a foreign investor could spend up to €3,000 per square metre and up to €3.5 million for a baglio. The market in nearby Scopello is also picking up. There are some unique properties that are difficult to value, but prices are generally in the region of €2,000 - €2,500 per square metre for renovation projects, and up to €6,000 per square metre for villas. In contrast, in Alcamo, which is more residential, a renovated property will go for €1,000 - €1,500 per square metre.” Marsala boasts a hilly area where villas overlooking the islands are highly sought-after. Francesco Pavia, from Pavia Immobiliare, confirms the growth in interest from overseas. This is particularly true of Stagnone, in Birgi Vecchi, where kitesurfers flock all year round. “Here,” says Pavia, “surfers can still buy a property for a relatively modest price: €500 - €1,000 per square metre for a renovation project and €2,500 per square metre for a turnkey property.” And finally, the magnificent Scopello with its sea stacks and the nearby Zingaro Nature Reserve. It is still possible to build in the area and we are talking about luxury villas that a young developer, Nino Stellino, is selling predominantly to foreign investors. “They each sell for their own fixed price because, at the end of the day, what matters most is the location. I have sold 120-m2 villas with a 2,000-m2 garden for €500,000 and another 350-m2 villa for €1.5 million. Some clients are extremely demanding but I always manage to satisfy them.”

Published on Ville&Casali June 2022
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