Italy’s 1 Euro Houses: Who Can Buy One and How Does it Work?

With property prices in the UK out of reach for many first time buyers, and homeowners dreaming of a second pad in the sun, the idea of snapping up an Italian casa for 86p is intoxicating.

Several small Italian towns have hit the headlines for selling off vacant houses for €1 a pop in the past couple of years. But how does the scheme work, and who is eligible to snap up one of these bargain villas in the sun?

Why is Italy selling houses for €1? As young Italians increasingly migrate to the city and choose cosmopolitan jobs over rural and community vocations, many of Italy’s prettiest remote villages are becoming abandoned, with tiny, ageing populations that are beginning to die off.