The Fassa valley or the Fiemme valley?

Buying a second home in the Dolomites is particularly in vogue with Italians, who are looking for panoramic views and rustic chalets. How to find a great deal
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The Fassa Valley in the heart of the Dolomites, which is more expensive and sought-after, “versus” the Fiemme Valley, which is more densely populated, more accessible and offers more services. Two areas surrounded by stunning scenery, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites and both have long been popular destinations for buying a second home in the mountains. But which to choose? And more importantly, how much do houses cost there? Ville&Casali has interviewed the area’s leading estate agents. According to Luigi Unico from Casa in Montagna  “the ace in our pack is the stunning scenery all around, not to mention the incredible, more than 60-km long cycle path that runs from Canazei to Egna-Ora. This four-hour, intermediate difficulty route is ideal for families and can also be enjoyed by e-bike, following this direction to take advantage of the descent, before going back to the start by bus or shuttle”. This captivating region is so large that it is easy to leave the hustle and bustle behind and really lose yourself in nature, perhaps around Piz Boé, the highest mountain of the Sella group. And Luigi Unico explains that a new, top-of-the-range, 100-square metre house benefiting from views, a central location and all the amenities you would expect, including garage, cellar, balcony and an energy efficiency certificate, would cost around €900,000 in Canazei, €750,000 in Pozza di Fassa, €600,000 in Moena, €500,000 in Predazzo, €450,000 in Cavalese and €220,000 in CaprianaValfloriana. Generally speaking, the higher the altitude, the higher the price. “We have just sold a 100-square metre chalet with annexes for €700,000 in Passo San Pellegrino”, Unico tells us, and adds that “prices drop by around 25 percent for second-hand properties. For those buying to make a profit, long-term rentals offer a 3% annual return on investment, rising to 5% for short-term rentals”. And while Casa in Montagna specialises in sales and longterm rentals in excess of one month, whose clients are almost exclusively Italians primarily coming from the Brenner Pass, “because it takes no more than three hours to get here”, anyone looking for a short-term rental could contact Interhome Group, a Swiss estate agents that is part of the Hotelplan/Migros group, Europe’s leading holiday home rental company. Its portfolio contains some 50,000 houses/apartments all around Europe, including 5,300 in Italy and around 200 in the Fassa Valley and Fiemme Valley. Home owners who entrust Interhome with the rental of their own properties can count on an international marketing network that guarantees optimal occupancy and a great return on investment. With an office in Canazei, Interhome can take care of the complete management of your holiday home in the Fassa Valley. But what is the most sought-after property? “People are typically looking for panoramic views and a traditional rustic mountain chalet with fireplace, exposed wood and a warm feel”, answers Giampaolo Rega, estate agent from Dimore della Valle, which specialises in sales as well as short-term rentals. “Property investment is medium-to-long-term, from 15-20 years. If you think that properties go for €700 for a single weekend, with a home that has been used for a good number of years you can save a lot of money, especially if you rent”. “The property market has always been buoyant here, even after the 2008 financial crisis”, explains Giampaolo Rega, who sells and rents out properties in both valleys. 

We target the middle-high end market, those looking to buy their second or third homes in the mountains and who are after a great location, perhaps a couple of hours from Verona or Mantua or about 4 hours from Milan”. Many Italians from Emilia-Romagna, as well as Germans and Czechs, also buy from us. “Where can you find the best deals? There is more movement in the Fiemme Valley because there are more properties available, but the Fassa Valley is more popular. An apartment in the Fiemme Valley on the market for €450,000-€550,000 would go for at least €100,000 more in the Fassa Valley, for example in Moena”. The Fassa Valley attracts such premium prices thanks to its location right in the shadow of the Dolomites, benefitting from breathtaking views. The Fiemme Valley, which boasts equally stunning views from Cavalese, is more densely populated, while the Fassa Valley offers fewer amenities, practically closes down in the off-season and is difficult to reach in the high season due to the sheer amount of traffic. In addition, there are also those who have blood pressure problems who may prefer the Fassa Valley when they are young, before moving in later life to the Fiemme Valley. Stefano Bombardelli, President of the Province of Trento’s Italian Federation of Professional Estate Agents (FIAIP) and therefore responsible for the Fiemme and Fassa Valleys explains: “In Trentino, as throughout the Upper Garda area, the positive market trend has returned to 2008 levels. High demand has caused prices to rise”. According to Carlo De Biasio from, which specialises in both sales and short-term tourist rentals, you are better off investing in Fiemme if you want to grab a bargain. “Prices in this area start a lot lower and are set to rise over the next decade, particularly if the property has panoramic views, is in a sunny location and is perhaps close to the Fiemme ski lifts, such as in Cavalese, Predazzo or Bellamonte. Here, a new-build would cost around €5,000 per square metre, whereas in Canazei, the same property would cost €7,000-€9,000 per square metre”. The most sought-after property is a three-room fully renovated apartment, ideally with outside space, with an average sales time of around 3-5 months. “Three-room apartments are most popular, particularly if they are located in the centre and close to the slopes and benefit from panoramic views”, concludes Andrea Vadagnini. “In addition, the Gilmozzi law, which has effectively restricted the construction of new properties intended to be used as holiday homes, has greatly influenced the Trentino market, especially in the Fiemme and Fassa Valleys, consolidating the value of existing properties and preventing widespread building speculation in the tourism sector”.


Published on Ville&Casali November 2022

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