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Italian converted palaces are well in vogue

Thursday 30th January 2014

In a trend predicted to continue in 2014, last year saw a rise in demand for pieds-a-terre in Italy, with buyers moving away from the traditional, shabby chic style to clean lines and contemporary settings, according to Venice Sotheby’s International Realty. 
With its modern interiors hidden behind a restored Gothic façade, Palazzo Molin in Venice illustrates this shift and, accordingly, the development has attracted interest from around the globe, including the UK, Europe and Asia. 
Ann-Marie Doyle of Venice Sotheby's International Realty, said: “For many years, country houses in the UK have been converted into apartments, bringing listed buildings back to life and offering purchasers an opportunity to own in a stately home for a fraction of the price.” 
Converting palaces in property hot spots is the Italian interpretation of this trend and more are due to be converted in the coming years to respond to the demand for high-spec apartments in well-preserved, historic buildings, both as investments and convenient second homes. 
She added: “Rental yields are an increasingly important consideration, as most buyers are now looking for properties that will rent well on the international market. Destinations such as Venice, where there is a huge holiday rental market and yet a lack of top quality apartments that appeal to an international clientele, make developments such as Palazzo Molin all the more unique as an investment proposition, as well as for end-users. 
“The smaller pieds-a-terre in these grand developments tend to be particularly appealing as they offer the rare chance to live in exceptionally imposing surroundings and enjoy high-end services such as a concierge, but for a surprisingly modest price. Such properties offer buyers the best of both worlds by combining the enduring appeal of traditional architecture with the comfort of the latest specification and, therefore, I believe this is a trend that is set to continue into 2014 and beyond.” 

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