The so called credit crunch ( euphamism for money lenders getting caught with their trowsers down ) is leading to a high rate of house repossessions. These houses are usually put out to auction to capitalise the debt. And houses can be bought for very little if you are not so fussy about where you live and the finance in place to buy. But in a falling price market its a risky business as you could still end up with negative equity.
In other words, until the market picks up, its not really a good time to be buying property right now. Especially as no one knows how deep this recession will be. The first to get hit will be the freelance market which is a big part of the IT industry. I have seen this happen twice over the years. Its a very easy way for companies to save money by chopping all their freelance staff and that makes the permanent IT staff market even more difficult to enter into than it already is. But I guess that if you have a job offer before moving then that's not such a problem, especially if the company you are working for in Italy is moving you over here. But if that were the case, then they should be paying the moving costs for you.