Croatia
Danijel Harmnicar, owner of house bought for 1 HRK, works in yard in village Legrad, June 2021. Photo – REUTERS/Antonio Bronic
  • The northern Croatian town of Legrad is trying to lure people back
  • As long as you are willing to stay 15 years, and are under 40
  • Properties in the town are available for 1 kuna, or 21 Australian cents

Amid stories of rapid-rising house prices, how would you like to buy one for 21 cents?

A town in northern Croatia is offering to sell its abandoned houses for one kuna (equivalent of 21 Australian cents) in a desperate bid to lure people back to the region.

The Catch? You have to commit to stay there for 15 years, be financially solvent and aged under 40.

Aerial view of Legrad
Aerial view of Legrad

Legrad, once the second-largest city in the country, has been hit hard by long running population shift away from the rural area. Sitting near the Hungary border, the decline in local population has been going on for 70 years. Only just over 2,000 inhabitants remain.

So far, 17 properties have been sold, according to Reuter reports from the local mayor.

A fixer upper
A nice little fixer upper

“We turned into a border town with few transport connections to other places. Since then the population has been gradually falling,” said Mayor Ivan Sabolic.

Some properties are in near ruins, with empty openings where doors once were, with some windows knocked out, or bad mould on the ceilings and walls.

The local council will even help new buyers towards repairs, paying up to 25,000 kuna (around $5,250).

Mouldy walls
A bit of work to do

Danijel Harmnicar, a young man from northern Croatia with a wife and two children took up the offer (see main photo).

“It is much nicer to live in your own place than to be a tenant. Staying 15 years here is not a problem for us, we don’t plan to move,” he said.

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All Photos: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

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