TIME real estate

This Broke Country Is Basically Giving Away Free Villages

Ian Aitken—Getty Images/AWL Images RM

Spanish real estate agencies are selling entire abandoned villages for cheap—and some mayors are giving them away for free

In the market for an ancient Spanish village? They come cheap these days.

Thousands of abandoned villages across Spain are up for sale as jobs leave the countryside and rural life slowly fades in the country, reports Agence France-Presse, and there are so many of them, that some are literally being given away for free.

Specialized real estate agencies help identify the around 2,900 empty villages and sell them to owners, many of them foreigners, who are surprisingly hard to come by. But some municipalities, desperate for caretakers of the ancient and abandoned properties, are giving away villages for free.

A stand of three stone houses and a granary—a typical hamlet in northwest Spain—can fetch less than $100,000. Some villages have requirements that purchasers must preserve them, many of which date back to the Middle Ages.


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