An Italian town has put around 900 abandoned homes for prices as low as €1 in an attempt to breed new life into the area.
The southern town of Castiglione di Sicilia is in a picturesque part of Sicily that sits piled up a hillside on the flank of Mount Etna near Taormina and the beaches of Sicily’s picturesque east coast.
The city is pricing the properties according to their condition. About half of these houses are ruined and will be sold off at a symbolic price of €1.
The ones that are in somewhat better condition will be sold off for low prices starting from €4,000. Such houses require minimal renovation. Most of them are located in the oldest parts of the town.
Castiglione di Sicilia’s mayor Antonino Camarda launched this project in March this year as the population has shrunk from 14,000 in the early 1900s to the present 3,000. Some other Italian cities and villages are operating similar schemes in order to repopulate their ghost towns, however, the scheme by Castiglione di Sicilia is the largest of its kind.
According to the mayor, if many people show interest in the same property, an auction would be held for its sale.
While the offer seems lucrative, the only catch in this scheme is that the buyers have to complete any planned renovation work within three years and buy an insurance policy worth €4,000 from a bank.
Anyone who wants to buy such a house has to contact the administrative officials of Castiglione di Sicilia or the special task force that has been formed to oversee the project. The potential buyer would have to tell the official about what kind of house they would like and how they’d renovate it.