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Stunning Town In Sicily Is Selling Off Houses For Just €1

Stunning Town In Sicily Is Selling Off Houses For Just €1

A stunning town in Sicily is selling off empty homes for just €1 (90p).

A few dozen properties in the town of Salemi are set to go under the hammer in the next few weeks in a bid to help revitalise the area.

The mayor of the picturesque town, Domenico Venuti, said its fortunes had been on the slide since 1968 when a huge earthquake destroyed countless properties, causing around 4,000 people to flee.

Speaking to CNN, Mr Venuti said: "All buildings belong to the city council, which speeds up the sale and reduces red tape.

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"Before launching the scheme we first had to recover the old parts of Salemi where the houses are located, upgrading infrastructures and services from roads to electric grids and sewage pipes.

Properties in the Sicilian town are being sold for €1. Credit: Shutterstock
Properties in the Sicilian town are being sold for €1. Credit: Shutterstock

"Now the town is ready for the next step."

Plans to sell off the cut-price homes have been in the pipeline for some time, though it has proven difficult for the town's leaders to get the scheme signed off.

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Mr Venuti explained: "It was a long process. Not only did we carry out thorough maintenance works to secure the risky crumbly areas, we also had to recover many properties to residential use.

"We've been ready for a while but wanted to wait and see how the Covid-19 emergency evolved."

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And while most of the properties are in a reasonable condition, according to reports, some are in need of substantial repairs due to the earthquake.

Prospective buyers will be able to view photographs of the properties up for sale, along with a map to show where they are located, and then download an application from the council website.

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In order to qualify for the scheme, however, the successful bidders will have to agree to carry out repair works on their properties over the following three years.

Buyers must renovate the homes over the next three years. Credit: Shutterstock
Buyers must renovate the homes over the next three years. Credit: Shutterstock
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A deposit of €3,000 must also be made as part of the guarantee of work being completed.

Those wishing to turn their properties into hotels and other forms of businesses will be given extra points and tax credits by council leaders - applicants are also allowed to purchase more than one property, with as many as 100 up for grabs.

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To find out more about the town and the properties that are set to go under the hammer, you can visit Salemi's official website here.

Other areas, such as Cinquefrondi, in the province of Reggio Calabria, have also launched similar schemes in the past few months.

The bargain offer formed part of the council's plan to rejuvenate the area - 'Operation Beauty', as it's been called - in the hope of fixing up some of its struggling properties.

Buyers there were also expected to renovate their properties within three years.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: World News, Property, Coronavirus, Health, Italy, Covid-19

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Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]