Global Market Insight: Milan

January 24, 2023
Milan Cathedral at sunrise.

Proudly serving communities in over 30 countries, Engel & Völkers advisors come equipped with both local and global expertise—allowing them to create unmatched, bespoke real estate experiences. Whether in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, or somewhere in between, there is an Engel & Völkers connection to be made. This month, we’re featuring Italy’s second-largest city, a mecca of art and fashion, Milan

With Italian brands like Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Valentino, and Versace all headquartered in Milan, it’s no wonder the city is one of the world’s leading fashion capitals (along with Paris, New York, and London). The city is also home to prominent architectural and artistic masterpieces like the Duomo of Milan, La Scala Opera House, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and Da Vinci’s iconic work The Last Supper.

Sought-after Districts

A map highlighting some of the most sought-after districts in Milan, including Brera, Quadrilatero della Moda, Porta Nuova, and CityLife.

Brera

The elegant Brera neighborhood is part of the central Old Quarter, also known as Centro Storico. It has always been a magnet for artists from all over the world, and with its bohemian and romantic character, it is one of Milan’s most sought-after residential districts. In the evenings, the cobbled streets—lined with fashion boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops—come to life. Elegant cafés and stylish restaurants serve upscale Milanese cuisine. Lovers of Renaissance and Baroque art styles alike are drawn here, specifically to collections at the Pinacoteca di Brera Art Museum.

Quadrilatero della Moda

Quadrilatero della Moda, also known as the Fashion District, is an upscale residential and shopping area that is also located in the Centro Storico district. Its main attraction is Via Montenapoleone, which is listed fifth in a ranking of the world’s most expensive shopping streets by Cushman and Wakefield Research. Its neoclassical villas are home to many shops and showrooms for the most important fashion brands, alongside antique shops and upmarket cafés. 

Porta Nuova

Milan’s most futuristic district, Porta Nuova, stretches around the Piazza Gae Aulenti’s fountains and street cafes. The district has been reconstructed into an attractive center for nightlife, families, and companies. The innovative architecture in this district includes the Torre Unicredit, by the American architect César Pelli, and the Bosco Verticale twin towers with their eco-friendly apartments and tree-lined terraces that won the highrise complex the International Highrise Award in 2014.

CityLife

The new CityLife quarter was built on the former exhibition grounds northwest of Centro Storico. The neighborhood mainly attracts lovers of international architecture who are drawn by the skyscrapers designed by Zaha Hadid, Arata Isozaki, Daniel Libeskind, and more. CityLife Park is a unique attraction that spans over 32,000 square feet and is home to more than 1,000 trees and a large network of footpaths and cycling routes. 

Buyer Profile

A small colorful street in the fashionable district of Brera in Milan.

For the majority of buyers, Milan is a first-home market. Despite the many international companies based in the city, around 90% of buyers are Italian citizens. Approximately 10% of buyers are from other countries—predominantly from France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Market Trends

Aerial view of Milan's Porta Nuova neighborhood with a view of the Bosco Verticale.

Boom in the new construction sector

Over the last 12 months, Milan’s real estate market has been flooded with new construction projects. Units in architecturally superior and energy-efficient buildings are selling quickly sometimes even before construction begins. Due to the urban structure of Milan, these projects are being realized in semi-central areas, bringing vitality to whole districts.

“Milan’s property market has thus far proven to be extremely resilient and has continued its upward trend, supported by strong buying demand. The war in Ukraine, the rise in energy prices, inflation, rising interest rates, and the political situation in Italy have had no relevant impact on Milan’s prime real estate market until now. However, we expect these factors to have an increasing impact on non-prime properties, eventually dividing the market into two segments: the premium market and the conventional. These segments are distinguished not by their location on the city map but mainly by the quality of the property and the services offered in the direct vicinity.”

Roberto Magaglio

Licence Partner, Engel & Völkers Milan

Higher client expectations

Clients are becoming more and more demanding in their search for the highest-quality properties. These buyers want a home as perfect as a hotel room. This requirement is particularly noticeable in the rental market. Buyers have become especially sensitive to this issue because of the current energy crisis and tend to prefer new buildings or properties with high energy-efficiency standards. 

Increasing demand in central residential areas with small properties

As people return to the office, Milan’s historic center is experiencing a renaissance. More and more singles and young people are moving back to central parts of the city to once again enjoy social and cultural pursuits, as well as nightlife. The tourism and events sector is also experiencing an upturn. In turn, this has drawn the small property market back to the attention of investors, who are increasingly buying small studios and one-bedroom apartments again.

Average Price in the Top Segments

An aerial view Milan's city rooves.

Currently, a property in the premium segment of Milan’s market sells for 1,400 dollars per square foot on average. High-end new-build properties can cost up to 2,100 dollars per square foot. The average price for a villa in the top segment is around $5.4 million USD. 

Listing Spotlight

Overlooking the Tre Torri neighborhood

A luxury home in Milan's CityLife district.

In the CityLife district, close to the Piazza Amendola, this four-story villa is located in a green oasis with a 4,800-square-foot garden. A mix of bright, lofty rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, lounges overlooking the garden, and panoramic terraces create a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere—a rarity in the center of Milan. The property is ideal for families, as well as entrepreneurs wishing to combine work and home under one roof.

For a look at all of Engel & Völkers’ current listings in Milan, click here.

Contact

For further information about the property market in Milan and/or referrals please contact:

Roberto Magaglio
Licence Partner, Engel & Völkers Milan
Phone +39 02 9443 3338

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