This Italian town is selling homes for $1

Many small towns and villages in Italy are selling old houses for under $10 in an attempt to attract residents to rural communities and revive the populations.

The small town of Bivona, located deep in the heart of the island of Sicily, is the latest destination that is offering buyers tax bonuses to purchase old, abandoned homes for the small price of $1.  

Why are homes selling for $1 in Bivona, Italy?

Bivona is one of many rural Italian towns and villages that have seen major vacancy issues as residents have left the countryside in search of bigger and better opportunities in more populated cities. These towns are being deserted by their residents and face threats of dying out.

Bivona’s culture councilor, Angela Cannizzaro, told CNN that their population has halved in the last 40 years, and that this incentive is an opportunity to restore the once flourishing town back to its former glory.

The Catch

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As is customary with these deals, buyers must commit to repairing their properties, and Bivona is asking for a deposit of around $2,750 to be paid upfront until repairs are completed. While some of these homes are in need of major repairs as only their walls remain standing, others require minimal work.

 The town is also stretching the mandatory renovation period from three to four years, and buyers who take up residency will be offered tax incentives.

Other Incentives Offered by Italian Towns

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Bivona is not the only Italian town offering these low prices to buyers. The town of Sambuca, which overlooks Sicily’s stunning coastline, is putting up abandoned houses for sale for around $1.14. Similar to Bivona, Sambuca requires buyers to repair their properties, but asks that they provide an approximate $5500 security deposit in advance.

In Sicily’s southern region, the town of Mussomeli, located a few hours from the Amalfi Coast, is selling properties online for $1.60. The town of 11,000 residents requires buyers to renovate their homes within a year of purchase or face losing their $8000 security deposit.

However, these are not the only incentives being offered by Italy’s small communities. The Italian region of Molise, located east of Rome, is also offering a $27,000 incentive to people to settle into one of its 106 underpopulated communities. Other communities have set up websites encouraging people to settle in their towns through cash incentives.