Italian Village Selling Historic Homes Less Than $2 to Increase Population, Just One Small Catch

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Would you buy a fixer-upper for just over a dollar? This picturesque village hopes so. As the population has dwindled, the people in town have been looking for a way to attract some new residents. They think they’ve found it. The houses in the area all have good bones, and if you are willing to fix them up, they can be yours for next-to-nothing.

“Ollolai, nestled in the mountain region of Barbagia on the island of Sardinia, is offering 200 abandoned stone dwellings for the bargain price of just €1 (90p) each,” The Daily Mail writes.

Ollolai is down to just 1,300 residents. Most of those don’t have children.

“With just a small number of babies born each year, Ollolai’s mayor decided to prevent the population plummeting further by launching the ‘houses for €1’ scheme in 2015,” the Mail notes.

The only stipulation is that you have to refurbish the property. Some of these places are going to need a lot of work. The estimate provided by the town is €30,000.

If you don’t like living in the town, you can sell after 5 years. All told, there are some 200 houses for sale.

“My crusade is to rescue our unique traditions from falling into oblivion,” Efisio Arbau, Ollalai’s mayor, told reporters. “Pride in our past is our strength. We’ve always been tough people and won’t allow our town to die.”


“Retired builder Vito Casula and his wife were the first to buy a two-story home for less than a loaf of bread,” the Mail writes.

The properties once belonged to families that have long since moved out of the area. They are now living in cities, mostly, and have no desire to return. So the mayor asked them to sign over their houses to the town, and they did.


There are very few houses left, though, and applications must be received by February 7th. At that point, the potential buyers will be notified of their status.

If there are not enough houses here, though, the towns of Montieri in Tuscany, Patricia in Lazio and Lecce de Marsi in Abruzzo are also looking for interested applicants.

CP509G Sardinia – Mamoiada (Nu).