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UPDATED: These are the Italian towns offering houses for one euro

The number of Italian 'ghost towns' selling off abandoned homes for a euro is still growing. Here's a look at the new and updated list.

UPDATED: These are the Italian towns offering houses for one euro
Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP

For several years now, a growing number of Italian towns and villages have been announcing ‘one euro’ home schemes: selling off old properties for less than the price of a coffee in a bid to reverse depopulation.

And many buyers – mainly from outside of Italy – have already taken advantage of the offers.

The houses available usually need a lot of expensive renovation work and come with terms and conditions attached. But despite this, buyers insist they’re still a bargain – and that the scheme has allowed them to discover and become part of a small Italian community that they’d never have found otherwise.

READ ALSO: The hidden costs of buying a home in Italy

After several years, interest remains high, with towns announcing these deals recently saying they’ve been flooded with enquiries from would-be investors and second home owners from all over the world.

If you’ve been tempted, you may find that there are so many towns in Italy competing to offload their old houses that it can be difficult to know where to start.

We’ve looked at all the offers available at the moment and selected some of the most interesting ones, which you can find listed below.

Plus, the interactive map below provides an extensive rundown of one-euro houses currently on sale throughout Italy.

If the one-euro home schemes aren’t for you, keep in mind that this is not the only way to snap up a bargain property in Italy – many foreign buyers are also benefiting from other types of ‘cheap home’ deals, which you can learn more about here.

Happy house-hunting – and please do let us know if you find your dream Italian home on this list!

Source: Case a 1 euro

Leonforte, Sicily

The latest place to try the one euro house scheme is the Sicilian village of Leonforte, putting up cheap homes on the market in its historic Baroque centre.

Based in the province of Enna, this old town is host to a mix of cultural and natural attractions, which the local municipality wants repopulate to preserve its social and economic future.

Leonforte’s one euro home project provides for the redevelopment of urban areas, intended to attract families, tourism and businesses.

If you want to find out more and apply for a bargain Sicilian bolthole, here’s the application form.

Pratola Peligna, Abruzzo

Just half an hour from the ski resort of Roccaraso and the same distance from the coastal town of Pescara is this small and charming municipality, in the province of l’Aquila.

Albeit a small area with some 7250 inhabitants, there’s a lot uninhabited space, so the authorities are hoping to lure in newcomers with some enticing real estate deals.

Italy’s building bonus: Can you really claim back the cost of renovating property?

Town mayor Antonella Di Nino said, “Our municipality suffered the indirect effects of the L’Aquila earthquake, so we immediately set to work to reactivate the necessary procedures to receive funding to rebuild individual buildings or building aggregates,” reported property and finance site Idealista.

Out of around 600 buildings, they found that 40 percent were abandoned.

They also discovered that many properties were sitting vacant as they couldn’t trace their owners. Some were still listed under the name of citizens born in the 1890s and in other cases, property owners had died and the inheritance had never been taken.

To reinvigorate the town and give people the chance to get their hands on a deal, they thought to offer these properties at a sale of one euro.

For the latest houses on sale at the symbolic price of one euro, check the municipality’s website.

Bivona, Sicily

A small town deep in the heart of Sicily, the local authorities want to enhance and recover the town’s neglected and abandoned buildings.

As in the other Italian towns and villages offering properties for next to nothing, Bivona’s young people have left in search of work elsewhere, leaving the area depopulated and in danger of soon becoming a ghost town.

The Sicilian town, which has just 3,800 residents, offers its one euro scheme with an added bonus.

To beat the competition from other towns offering the same deal, Bivona is easing buying restrictions and offering tax bonuses for those who buy one of a dozen empty and dilapidated properties in the town.

More information about the properties available and the buying requirements is available, partly in English, here.

OPINION: Bargain homes and fewer crowds – but Italy’s deep south is not for everyone

The terms and conditions buyers must agree to include paying a €2,500 deposit and declaring their intended use of the property, which can be anything from a family home to a holiday rental property, or even a craft workshop.

In the case of competing offers, you’ll get more points if you intend to speed up the restoration project and if you use renewable materials.

Bisaccia, Campania

This town is hoping to attract families and groups of friends to buy a couple of bargain properties between them.

The picturesque town of Bisaccia, in an inland part of Italy’s southern Campania region, is started to put dilapidated buildings on the market for a euro last year, in hopes of reviving the community.

But unlike other towns offering such deals for people committing to renovations, Bisaccia’s officials say its tightly-clustered buildings would suit more communal projects. Find out more on the official website listing the bargain homes.

Mussomeli, Sicily

This larger town in Sicily focused on making it easy for prospective foreign buyers to find their dream one euro home, by creating a multilingual estate agency to process its own one-euro home deals.

The unusually modern website features an interactive map that has detailed information on each building – and even more surprisingly, it’s all in English. The houses on offer are mainly abandoned stone cottages, in varying states of disrepair.

READ ALSO: How and where to find your dream renovation property in Italy

One of the houses for sale in Mussomeli. Photo: Comune di Mossomeli

Again, you’ll be responsible for all the fees associated with purchasing a house and you are obliged to renovate the property.

The agency will take you on a tour of the homes and the local area as well as organising the necessary paperwork.

As one of the fist towns to offer one euro homes Mussomeli has previously received thousands of email enquiries, so you might need to be patient if you have your heart set on this area.

There are currently six one euro homes listed on their site.

READ ALSO:

Cantiano, Marche

The historic town centre of Cantiano in the province of Pesaro has joined the one euro scheme, with the aim of reviving abandoned old buildings and encouraging residents, tourism and businesses.

Anyone who buys a one euro house in this area will need to pay fees for the transfer of ownership of the property and all other home buying costs, such as notary fees and taxes.

Once the sale has gone through, you must start works within one year and complete the project within four years. For details on how to apply, see the municipality’s website.

Cammarata, Sicily

Most of these towns are in Sicily, and another option on the southern island is Cammarata, a town of 6,000 in the province of Argingento, which started advertised properties on sale for €1 in 2020.

Here’s an English-language website which facilitates the sale of the houses in this area.

Sambuca, Sicily

The deputy mayor of this small Sicilian village got more than he bargained for after announcing the town was selling off 17 houses for one euro each.

He said he was “trying not to go mad” after receiving calls around the clock from potential buyers – many of them in English, which he says he has a limited command of.

Since then, the scheme must have done so well that they’ve doubled the house prices – it’ll now set you back €2 for one of their properties.

READ ALSO: What taxes do you need to pay if you own a second home in Italy?

Some of the houses for sale in Sambuca, Sicily, for just €1. Photos: Comune di Sambuca di Sicilia.

For the list of €2 houses in Sambuca, click here. To read the FAQs, click here. There are currently 16 available at the time of writing.

New owners must commit to refurbishing their property within three years with costs starting from €15,000 (£12,800), plus a €5,000 security deposit.

Sambuca’s official website gives a glimpse of the thousands of queries the village says it has been fielding ever since its offer took off, for example: “Do I have to be an Italian citizen to buy real estate?” (No.) “Must I transfer residency to Sambuca after buying real estate?” (No.) 

The FAQs also state that if more than one buyer wants the same property, the highest bidder gets priority – which suggests that you could find yourself stumping up a lot more than €2 if you want to secure your Sicilian home.

See the full list of Italian towns currently offering houses for sale for one euro here.

Please note: The Local cannot help you to buy any of these houses. Please address all enquiries to the relevant estate agency. But do let us know if you decide to make an offer!

Member comments

  1. I love The Local. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without you guys.

    When I see CNN (they don’t half of what you know about Italian real estate) run absurd articles about happy one-euro homeowners, I always have to bite my tongue. At least The Local makes reference to the drawbacks as well as the plusses. I did much the same in this article, which I wrote as a rebuttal to CNN’s malarkey.

    https://cappuccino.substack.com/p/why-those-buy-a-house-in-italy-for?r=kbmi7&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=copy

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PROPERTY

Revealed: The most expensive places in Italy to buy a house in 2022

Many factors are at play when deciding where to purchase a home in Italy. To help you decide, here are the most expensive and sought-after locations in Italy, according to the latest data.

Revealed: The most expensive places in Italy to buy a house in 2022

Searching for the right property in Italy involves a balancing act of location, price, convenience and how much, if any, restoration work needs to be done.

Budget usually tops the list for house-hunters, narrowing down the number of potentials for making your move to or within Italy.

If the entire country is your blank slate, here are the areas in Italy that rank as the most expensive – and desired – according to data from property portal Idealista for the first quarter of 2022.

The report ranks the top 100 municipalities according to popularity, based on those listings generating the most leads (email contacts and shares) and those where the average final sale price is highest.

READ ALSO: How bargain homes made one Italian town €100 million in two years

Taking the top spot for the most expensive place to buy in Italy is Pietrasanta in Versilia, in the province of Lucca, which the researchers also state holds first place in the top 100 most expensive places to rent a house too.

This area includes the playground of the rich, Forte dei Marmi, where the average selling price of a house is over half a million euros (€541,351).

The table below shows the full ranking.

In second place is Alassio, in the province of Savona, where homebuyers will on average shell out €467,019 for a residential property (again, valid for the first quarter of 2022).

Venice comes in at third place, where the average asking price is €433,640.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The hidden costs of buying a home in Italy

In the top 10 spots, the report noted that the most expensive properties are in tourist resorts, possibly driven by those wanting second homes in popular locations.

Such locations include Lerici, Riccione, Desenzano del Garda, Camaiore and Cervia, while the cities of Florence and Milan, where average sale prices exceed €350,000, have also made the top 10.

The study revealed that the final average price of a house for sale in Rome is €273,341.

Researchers also looked at popularity of locations, based on pressure of demand on supply across Italy.

Bologna topped the charts, making it the city with the highest number of contacts per advert (4.7) of houses for sale published on idealista. Cagliari followed in second with 3.8 contacts per advert and Milan (3.4 contacts per advert). Trieste, Naples, Rome, Salerno, Brescia, Verona and Lecce also made the top 10.

READ ALSO: 15 insider tips to make living in Bologna even better

Here’s a selection of the most popular places to buy in Italy based on the report data, narrowed down to the top 20.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.

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