Top five villages in need of an owner
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Top five villages in need of an owner

Friday, March 9, 2012. Ivan Radford @themovechannel

The village of Courbefy caused a stir recently when it was put up for sale. All of it. For £275,000. But it's not just in France that you can buy a whole hamlet: villages in need of an owner are popping up all over the globe. If purchasing a house is simply not enough, here are five villages currently for sale, from abandoned resorts in France to ancient stone farms in Croatia.

The French village Courbefy caused a stir recently when it was put up for sale. All of it. For £275,000. It's a mark of the impact of the global financial crisis that a piece of real estate containing 19 buildings and a swimming pool could sell for such a low amount, but it's not just in France that buyers can own an entire village. Since Courbefy, they have been popping up all over the globe looking for ambitious investors.

So if buying a house is not enough for your wallet, here are the top five villages currently for sale around the world.


Courbefy, France - £275,000

Photo credit: 

The village that started it all, France's disused collection of buildings was once home to 200 people but has lain empty for years. Now, after aborted plans to turn it into a holiday resort, the village is searching for investors to take on the task of renovating the properties. In fact, the bank that possesses Courbefy is even willing to accept offers under the £275,000 asking price, making the entire village far cheaper than your average French home.


Pray, Montana - $1,400,000

Photo credit: Barbara Walker / The Daily

This five-acre village hit the market just days after Courdefy's attention-grabbing offer. Located near Yellowstone National Park, the US community was bought by its current owner, Barbara Walker, in 1953. She has since been the town's mayor, law enforcer, owner and investor. She is now hunting for a someone else to take on her many jobs. The village is more expensive than the $800,000 recently paid for a town in South Dakota, but Montana's village features one house, a post office, a shop and a small trailer park. The latter, The Daily reports, fetches a tidy $200 each month.


Tuscany, Italy - €3,500,000

Photo credit: Piedmont Properties

It's not just America and Spain with villages to offer: Italy boasts this medieval town just outside of Florence with a price tag to match its age. With 30 stone buildings and a fresh water spring covering a total of 120,000 square feet, the land is presented as a place fit for a hotel developer - although investors will be kicking themselves to have missed out on the Valle Piola village last year, also in need of renovation, which sold for just €555,000. An investor could pick up several Courbefy's for either sum.


Askham Richard, Yorkshire - £6,500,000

Photo credit: Zoopla / Carter Jones

Fans of cricket, tidy lawns and English tea will be more attracted to the thought of owning this pricey village in Yorkshire. The hamlet of Askham Richard was put up for sale by its landlord in November, leaving its residents uncertain of their future. The estate must be sold in its entirety and includes 14 houses, 54 acres of woodland and three farms.  It is still looking for a new owner.


Hvar, Croatia - €3,000,000

Photo credit: Rightmove

This 200 year old estate used to be a mountain farm but after being abandoned for 40 years, it is now waiting for someone to transform its ancient stone buildings into a modern luxury destination. 800 metres from the Adriatic coastline, the ruins have been partially converted into a collection of eight houses, with bay and mountain views plus a sauna and swimming pool. There are two entry roads to the estate - an improvement upon the original property, which was only accessible via donkey.

Can't afford to own a village?

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Author - Dan Johnson


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