Lonely Planet Writer

Yes, you can buy a holiday home in Italy for €1...but there’s a catch

Stop everything because the rumours are true; yes you can finally get on the rung of the property ladder in sunny Italy for a mere €1. But like all things in this life, there is a small catch.

Bosa, a colourful Sardinian town. Photo by Ellen van Bodegom

The scheme is in the village of Ollolai, Sardinia and, with a population of just 1,300 with few young people, has been running since 2015 in an effort to reverse the trend of depopulation. While potential buyers will be getting a bargain, they are also investing in the local community and the history of the town.

On top of the €1 house price, the buildings on offer are historic stone properties which have all fallen into disrepair. A condition of the sale is that refurbishment must start on the property within a year and must be finished within three. If the conditions aren’t met, the town reserves the right to repurchase the house at the same rock-bottom price.

Sardinia is home to glorious beaches. Photo by ekarg/Shutterstock

As part of prospective buyers application, you must submit a proposal on how you plan to refurbish the house. The cost of the renovations are estimated at between €20,000 and €30,000 and after five years – and a completed restoration – owners will be eligible put the houses up for sale on private market again.

Although the scheme has been running since 2015, it hit international headlines again recently as the deadline of 7 February approaches. Now the town say they are oversubscribed for the amount of houses available and will assess applications in the order they’re received, so speed is of the essence to getting your application in, although more properties may be made available in the future.

If you miss the deadline this time around, Ollolai is not the only Italian town running the scheme. Villages in Tuscany, Piedmont and Abruzzo are all part of the ‘home for €1 scheme’ are you can take a look at more information and apply online.