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15. 10. 12. - 13:39

Building boom passes Italian border areas by

While much of Austria is benefiting from a building boom caused by the financial crisis as investors rush to snap up property, prices are falling for property on the Italian border.

In Carinthia that is best illustrated at the resort town of Bad Kleinkirchheim where in the past few years many Italians have invested in second homes.

But the building boom that led to in the resort town has now meant a massive oversupply as there are now virtually no wealthy Italian buyers coming onto the market.

In other parts of the country the building boom has been fueled by wealthy Middle Eastern or Russian buyers, but in Carinthia say officials the wealthy Italian buyers have simply stopped coming.

In Bad Kleinkirchheim there are up to 120 empty properties on the market with "In vendita" signs meaning for sale testimony to the lack of demand.

Of the 1,800 people living there 700 are registered to people as a second home.

Estate agent Stefan Nedwed said: "It seems that investors are not so keen at the moment to put their savings into property. Most seem to want to use their cash back home - to keep their companies on their feet for example."

He said that the cost of keeping a second home in the area of around 900 euros a year was also a problem for many who might otherwise have wanted to invest in the region.

Mayor Matthias Krenn however said that the cash was a fair charge to pay for the services like an efficiant waste water or nearby power line.

He added: "In Italy the amount would be four or five times more."

Despite that prices are falling in the region - by about 20 per cent over the last two years - with holiday flats now available for around 2,500 Euros a square meter.

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Cosmo and Nanu