House prices may be falling worldwide, but you would still be hard-pressed to find a cheaper property than those on sale in one Sicilian town, where homes are going for as little as $1.
Dozens of properties have been put up for sale in Sambuca, a hilltop town with stunning views across the Mediterranean island, for less than the price of a takeaway coffee.
The deal is a bid to revive an area that has undergone depopulation in recent years, with residents moving to bigger cities. According to local officials, anyone interested can more or less make a purchase straight away, the Guardian newspaper reported.
Giuseppe Cacioppo, Sambuca’s deputy mayor and tourist councilor, told CNN: “As opposed to other towns that have merely done this for propaganda, this city hall owns all $1 houses on sale. We’re not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners. You want that house; you’ll get it in no time.”
There is a catch, though. New owners must commit to refurbishing their property within three years, at a cost starting from $17,000, and will need a $5,680 security deposit. This will be returned once the refurbishment is complete.
But buyers won’t be disappointed, according to Cacioppo. “Sambuca is known as the city of splendor. This fertile patch of land is dubbed the earthly paradise. We’re located inside a nature reserve, packed with history. Gorgeous beaches, woods and mountains surround us. It’s silent and peaceful, an idyllic retreat away from pollution,” he added.
With the population dwindling, Cacioppo said the town needs outsiders to prevent it from going under. “We can’t afford to lose our lovely Arab heritage. Luckily, foreigners are lending a hand in this rescue crusade,” he said.
The two-storey dwellings are built with reddish-pink stone and feature courtyards. It is also possible to see Sicily’s Mount Etna volcano on days when the sky is clear enough.