Which Italian towns offer houses for sale for just €1?
Yes, it’s true: there really are Italian towns offering houses for as little as €1. They aren’t everywhere though. The towns which are offering these options are historic and declining. Most are found in Sicily. It is the declining nature which is encouraging more and more areas to adopt the €1 house as a way to regenerate the community and encourage vibrancy once more.
The fundamental common theme amongst these Italian towns is depopulation. Young people have moved away, seeking employment opportunities elsewhere.
Typically, the properties on offer are run-down. They need intense renovation efforts. They also come with various conditions. For example, how long you must stay living in the area and how quickly you must undertake renovation. That said the consensus is that these properties still represent good value. Indeed, areas offering these houses are inundated with enquiries and applications.
Now, these schemes are becoming so widespread that there is a degree of rivalry between the different €1 house towns. Many now offer additional benefits to entice the buyers. So where are the €1 house Italian towns?
There are a few places within Sicily which are adopting the €1 idea. The latest is Bivona, another town struggling with depopulation with a population of just 3,800. In addition, as an attempt to lure buyers, tax breaks are also on offer. There are just over ten properties available to buy under the scheme.
As with all schemes, whilst the house nominally costs €1, buyers must pay a deposit. In this case the deposit is €2,500. Buyers must also state their plans for the property. They may choose to renovate it as their own home, a rental property or use it in some other limited ways.
You can find out more about Bivona’s €1 house scheme, in part in English, here or if you need help contact us!.
A rival to Bivona is Mussomeli. This is a much bigger town with a population in excess of 10,000. A beautiful hilltop town in the heart of Sicily, it is very picturesque.
Mussomeli is keen to encourage foreign investment in the town and as such has created a comprehensive website in English where you can find out more and make applications. Each property is showcased with relevant information. Typically the properties are old stone cottages in need of various degrees of repair.
For Mussolmeli properties, buyers need to put down a €5,000 deposit. They are also required to pay €400 to the estate agency.
Also in Sicily is the small town of Cammarata. Found in the province of Agrigento, the town has a population of around 6,000 people. Sat within a national park, surrounded by mountains, Cammarata is an idyllic place to own a property.
Again, there are just over 10 properties for sale listed at €1. They do have a largely English-language website. The properties available are all within the historic centre of the town. Buyers can be from anywhere in the world. The deposit required is once again €5,000 and you must complete renovations within three years to get it returned.
When applying to buy a €1 house in Cammarata young couples with children are awarded the most points.
Another village in Sicily which has enjoyed incredible interest in the €1 scheme is Sambuca. This time there are 17 properties for sale. Following the announcement of the scheme, the mayor was flooded with interest from around the world.
Despite attracting many foreign investors, there is limited English-language information available. You can find out some limited information here. You can also download individual plot information here. The properties available are largely dilapidated and small, but nonetheless, there are good opportunities to be found.
Once again, the deposit required is €5,000. Refurbishments must be completed within three years and come with minimum spend requirements. These properties are being sold through bids. Therefore, whilst they are listed for €1, if you are bidding against another interested party you may end up paying considerably more.
We helped already clients to acquire their property in Sambuca, Read our reviews.
Zungoli is in Campania, not far from Naples in southern Italy. It’s a rural village not too far from the Amalfi coast. A beautiful hillside and historic village, the properties here are an eclectic mix made using the bare lava stone typical of the area. Once an agricultural hub, the village has Byzantine roots, and is strikingly picturesque.
While the website listing the €1 properties is in Italian, they do have English speaking volunteers who can help you. However, you can easily navigate to download PDFs of the individual plots.
In order to be considered for purchasing one of Zungoli’s properties, you need to download and complete the application form from the site. We can help you with navigating the process using English speaking Italian real estate experts and legal professionals. Get in touch on +44 (0) 20 3137 5067.
Again, buyers must undertake to complete the renovations within three years. You’ll also need to submit your plans to the council for agreement. Zungoli is offering enticing tax deductions up to a maximum of 85% of all renovation works. Buyers must start the work quickly and also pay a deposit of €2,000.
Ollolai was one of the original towns to offer the €1 houses nearly two years ago. Ollolai has a beautiful mountain backdrop on the island of Sardinia. Unlike many of the other towns and villages using the €1 scheme, they have offered a far greater number of properties for sale starting with 200!
Those buying these properties have once again been tied in to doing renovation work, again with a three-year deadline. Purchasers are allowed to sell the property on after five years.
Not strictly falling under the €1 house idea, the region of Molise, a mountainous area on the Adriatic Sea, is an entire region offering a similar opportunity for start-ups and entrepreneurs. In a bid to repopulate and rejuvenate the region, people are being offered up to €27,000 to move to Molise and open a business in the area.
Applications for the scheme are now closed but it is a good example of other areas using similar incentives to encourage repopulation of areas in Italy.
How to buy a €1 house in Italy
Each town or village has its own unique requirements and application forms. However, we understand that negotiating the process can be difficult. If you need help, we are a real estate agent specialising in selling Italian properties to foreign buyers and are available to help. Please get in touch.