Of course, value is subjective. But still:
With its terracotta-tiled stone houses perched on a rocky crag overlooking rugged countryside, it might seem like the perfect Italian hill town.
But San Piero Patti has been losing inhabitants to ageing and migration for decades and has now decided to offer its empty houses for sale at €1 (90p) each in a bid to inject new life into the community.
New owners will be obliged to restore the often dilapidated homes, using traditional stone, timber and terracotta roofing and employing, where possible, local artisans.
Sicily, like most of the Mezzogiorno, is undergoing depopulation. That does leave large chunks of housing that no one locally wants to use. It’s thus cheap enough to buy. But those restoration costs – it’s entirely possible to end up with something worth less on that market than the costs of just having done it up. Sure, value is subjective, you or I might think an Italian cottage worth that doing up cost. The market is telling us that the rest of the world, on average, doesn’t agree.
And there is a reason why these areas are undergoing depopulation of course. Other places offer greater value as a place to live.