The Rise of One Euro Houses in Europe

Becoming the owner of a house by spending only 1 euro.


In many small towns and villages across Europe, populations are shrinking, and buildings are being left to fall into disrepair. However, a new trend is emerging that could help breathe new life into these dying communities – the sale of one euro houses.


What are 1 euro houses?

One euro houses are abandoned properties that local governments or private individuals are selling for the nominal price of one euro.

These properties are often in poor condition and require extensive renovation work. But the low cost is intended to attract buyers who are willing to invest time and money into restoring them to their former glory.


Houses for 1 euro began in Italy

The 1 Euro Houses project started from some Italian municipalities. Their aim was to counter abandonment by the population through young people moving to cities, leaving behind an elderly population.

“This long-term strategy is attractive for those looking for a low-cost home, and simply to restore prestige to Italian villages that the whole world envies us for their extraordinary beauty, and for that spirit of the past that is so sought after today,” says an organisation involved in this project.

“Not least, with the repopulation of these small towns, the birth of tourist activities is also promoted, activating the economy of the whole area concerned. Again with a view to welcoming tourists, the possibility of redeveloping the property with a small hotel can be explored. , a B&B, or think of a larger project that also involves more properties within the same town with the possibility of creating a widespread hotel.

In short, the possibilities and implications are many and very interesting.”


Why are one euro houses becoming popular?

The concept of one euro houses has been around for a few years, but it has gained popularity in recent times due to the pandemic.

With many people now able to work remotely, more individuals and families are looking to leave crowded cities in search of a quieter, more affordable life in rural areas. One euro houses provide an affordable and unique opportunity to do just that.

Cheap houses have also gained media attention thanks to popular TV shows like “The Italian Job” featuring Alan Carr and Amanda Holden renovating a property in Italy. The show has showcased the potential of these properties and inspired others to take the plunge and invest.


Who is buying one euro houses?

Buyers of one euro houses are often young couples, artists, or retirees looking for a change of pace or a new adventure. However, the purchase of a one euro house is not for the faint-hearted. Prospective buyers must be willing to take on significant renovation work and comply with certain conditions.


What conditions are attached to buying one euro houses?

While the purchase price of one euro houses is low, there are usually conditions attached to the sale.

Buyers are often required to renovate the property within a set time frame and to a high standard. They may also need to provide proof of financial resources and submit a detailed renovation plan to the local government for approval.


What will the future look like for the villages and towns?

The sale of one euro houses is helping to revive struggling towns and villages. The influx of new residents and the renovation of abandoned properties is bringing life back to areas that were once dying.

As a result, local economies are being stimulated, and businesses are starting to reopen.

These communities are becoming attractive places to live, and we can expect to see more one euro houses being sold in the coming years.


What will the future look like for the house buyers?

For buyers of one euro houses, the future is full of potential.

Owning a property in a beautiful location for such a low price can be a dream come true. It can also provide a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in bringing an old property back to life.

However, the renovation process can be challenging, and it’s important for buyers to be realistic about the costs and time involved in restoring the property.


Where is there an example of a village or town being revived?

According to a CNN article, Irsina, deep in the southern Basilicata region, is home to over 300 non-Italians from 12 different countries, alongside 4,000 local residents.

Until the 1960s, this hilltop village surrounded by fields had a population of 12,000, but mass emigration combined with harsh living conditions meant that by the 1960s, barely 4,500 people were living in the old historical centre.

Today, things are different. Irsina in 2023 is an expat heaven of mostly retirees and American migrants living the rural Italian dream.

More than 15 families from the US and Canada have bought old properties in this remote village, known for its premium wheat fields and olive groves.

And they keep buying houses and expanding their properties, spreading the word back home of this dreamy location which seems to be frozen in time. Each time they come back, they bring along relatives and friends.


Although not every house is a one euro house, it has certainly started a trend of cheap houses to buy compared to an expat’s home country.


And, while the purchase of a one euro house comes with conditions and challenges, it also presents a unique opportunity to own a piece of history and contribute to the revitalization of a community.

The future looks bright for both the villages and the house buyers as they work together to create a brighter future.


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