In Sardinia, a traditional rural farmhouse (stazzu) or house, as long as it is immersed in nature

In Gallura, second homes 10 minutes from the sea with garden on a large private plot are highly sought after, while villas in Porto Cervo are not going for less than €10 to €15 million
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According to architectNatale Miniaci, based in Olbia, “The second-home market in Gallura is increasingly moving in the direction of unique and one-off properties, like the traditional rural stazzu or country house, benefitting not only from sea views, which enhance the commercial value of the property, but also from views of the Mediterranean scrub.” Although villas on the Costa Smeralda are always popular, properties under 10 million are difficult to find. Because of this, in Gallura people are increasingly looking for homes in more secluded locations with ample outside space, a garden and as much surrounding countryside as possible. One thing that cannot be disputed is that here the demand for second homes has never abated. In fact, according to Claudia Degortes, owner of WhiteHouse immobiliare, quite the opposite is true: “Demand soared by 30-40 percent between May and June 2020, after the first lockdown. The current trend is to buy a house 5-10 minutes from the coast that offers privacy and a lot of outside space to entertain, all advantages that seafront properties tend to lack.” One such property that Ms Degortes showed us was Villa Francesca, near Porto Rotondo, bought by a couple from Milan in 2020, renovated in 2021 and now on the market for just over 2.3 million. A perfect example of a country retreat. That is why the traditional Gallurian stazzu or farmhouse– the cornerstone of rural life for thousands of shepherds and farmers for hundreds of years– is becoming increasingly popular, even with a younger forty-something clientele. “Even foreign buyers from Northern Europe,” explains Maurizio D’Auria, Frimm Island Group Area Manager (, “are looking for a 100-120-square metre property together with an 80-square metre tool shed, making 200 square metres in total. They could spend between 350,000 and 500,000 to buy it and the same again to customise it and make it their own”. And they also change the style. As architect Miniaci confirms, “We are actually starting to see contemporary houses that are moving away from the classic Costa Smeralda style characterised by granite arches and curves. Second homes with bright living areas, depth of view and enormous rooms are on the increase”.

Consuelo Davoli, owner of Davoli estate agents in Porto Rotondo is delighted: “Italian families and young people are back, thanks in part to the Consortium of Porto Rotondo’s announcement on 8 June of a new sports centre boasting 2 new tennis courts, 1 beach volleyball court and 2 padel courts”. And that's not all. “We have sold portside apartments with stunning views because the owners’ expectations are finally in line with market values (between 5 and 7 million for properties in need of renovation and 6-8 million for renovated apartments). Swiss and German nationals who love this northeastern corner of Sardinia are also now starting to buy”. Unsold properties are very few and far between. This is confirmed by Luca Bonifaci from Rebhomes. “Demand is high even far from the coast, including for 60-80-square metre, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom 1980s apartments in need of renovation in Porto Rotondo or the Gulf of Marinella.” According to Luciano Magi, owner of Idee residenziali, near Porto Rotondo on the Aranci Gulf, “The price of mid-range and luxury properties has been increasing for the last 18 months. Demand for homes worth 1 to 1.5 million with swimming pool and sea views is growing steadily, both for projects and fully renovated properties, with new buyers coming from Poland, as well as Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands”. A few cranes can be glimpsed on the Aranci Gulf horizon. One belongs to the company Villa Piro srl, which is building 8 residential units in a restored historic villa, including 3 penthouses and 3 commercial units, each of which can be subdivided, spread over three floors and boasting large terraces, swimming pools on the roof and an underground car park. The development concerns the complex that overlooks via Libertà, via dei Marinai and via Trattati di Roma. 


Gabriele Carratelli, CEO of Luxury Homes e Carratelli Holding, confirms that “Thanks to its natural beauty, climate and multitude of amenities serving a demanding and elite clientele, the Costa Smeralda has never lost its charm or ability to attract buyers from all over the world. Luxury properties are extremely popular, particularly those that come with private beach, mooring dock and total privacy”. However, the sanctions imposed against Russian oligarchs have caused Carlo Panciroli, owner of Immobiliare del Porto and who recently published his autobiography “La Voglia” (“Desire”), more than a grimace or two. Something that he has taken up with the Italian Prime Minister: “It was a serious mistake to penalise the private property of Russian nationals. I have lost important rental agreements for fear that investments from Moscow may be frozen here in Italy. The sanctions have also harmed nautical tourism and left the ports in some difficulty. Of course there is no shortage of buyers, including Americans, but they can only stretch to a maximum of 10 million, while the Russians had much greater spending power”. In contrast, there are those who this year achieved their highest turnover in 15 years of business. As Daniela Ciboddo, License Partner of Engel & Völkers Porto Cervo explains, “Mid- to topof-the-range 200-300-square metre villas worth between 3 and 15 million, with sea views and swimming pool and garden, mostly ripe for renovation, have seen a spike in sales thanks to building bonuses that have flooded the Municipality of Arzachena, so much so that all the building contractors are fully booked up and are currently not taking on new clients”. Emiliano Cruciani, CEO of LuxuryEsmeralda Savilss Sardinia, laments a lack of stock in the 2.5 million to 8 million price bracket, which is the most sought after by northern Europeans. “We are talking about 5-bedroom villas with swimming pool and sea views in Cala di Volpe, Piccolo Pevero and the centre of Porto Cervo. You would need at least 15 million for a property like this in need of modernisation, perhaps in the classic Costa Smeralda style”. He adds that, “New players in the hotel sector are arriving who are set to revamp the old Aga Khan style by 2026-2027 with new amenities and more modern properties”. For Alessio Loi, manager of immobiliare Le rose marine estate agents, there do not seem to be any problems in the high-end market, although he is keeping the prices close to his chest. “There are breathtaking 600 - 1,500-square metre villas for sale in Cala di Volpe, Liscia di Vacca and Pepero, already renovated in minimalist style or ripe for renovation”. In short, according to Lorenzo Tanda of Lorenzo estate agents, “Nothing stays on the market for long in Porto Cervo and prices could soon rise on the Gulf of Pevero and in Cala di Volpe, where demand is outstripping supply.” A less expensive but high quality alternative? “A second home in Olbia, close to the most famous tourist resorts, in a town that is vibrant all year round, with the airport a stone’s throw away and all the amenities you could need”, explains Paolo Costi, owner of two Coldwell Banker Estate agents in Olbia and Porto Cervo Costa Smeralda. A newbuild here ranges from 2,000 to 2,500 per square metre. Just half an hour from Costa Smeralda and 10 minutes from the fantastic beaches of Pittulongu, a dream 307-square metre seafront penthouse on the eleventh floor, right in the port, could be yours for 1.2 million.

Published on Ville&Casali August 2022
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