(ANSA) - Bolzano, August 13 - Many Italians living near the Austrian border are buying properties on the other side of it in order to dodge stricter fiscal controls and avoid paying Italy's new IMU tax, according to media reports. The shift in house-hunting patterns is causing a real estate bubble in some places in Austria, pushing prices up by as much as 30% in some cases, worrying local buyers and leading some to call for new rules to prevent Italians from purchasing homes north of the shared border. The Tiroler Tageszeitung daily points out how famed tourist town Kitzbuhel has become a favourite with Italian buyers, followed by regional capital Innsbruck. Local officials have promised to look at ways of creating disincentives to Italian home purchases after the summer break, while respecting the rules and regulations of the European single market. Premier Mario Monti's emergency government introduced IMU as part of its Save Italy austerity package in December.
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di Angelo Biscardi