Spanish village on sale for €260,000

For anyone dreaming of selling up and moving to the country, how about buying an entire village?

Salto de Castro, in north-western Spain, is up for sale and the asking price is €260,000 (£227,000; $259,000).

Located on the border with Portugal in the province of Zamora and a three-hour drive from Madrid, Salto de Castro has many of the buildings you would expect to find in a small Spanish town.

They include 44 homes, a hotel, a church, a school, a municipal swimming pool and even a barracks building that used to house the civil guard.

But what it does not have are inhabitants. Salto de Castro has been abandoned for more than three decades.

The owner bought the village at the beginning of the 2000s, with the intention of converting it into a tourist spot. However, the eurozone crisis prevented the plan from flourishing.

“The owner had the dream of having a hotel here but it was all put on hold,” said Ronnie Rodríguez, of Royal Invest, the company representing the owner. “He would still like the project to come true.”

On the Idealista website on which the property is listed, the owner, who is in his 80s, states that “I am selling because I am an urban-dweller and cannot maintain the upkeep” of the village.

It has attracted interest, with more than 50,000 visits since it was listed a week ago at this price.

Ronnie Rodríguez
Ronnie Rodríguez, holding a “for sale” sign, says the owner wanted to set up a hotel in the village

Mr Rodríguez said that 300 people have expressed an interest in buying, with inquiries from Russia, France, Belgium and the UK. One potential buyer has already put money down to reserve it, he said.

Salto de Castro was built by the electricity generation company Iberduero to house families of the workers who built the reservoir next door, from the early 1950s.

But the inhabitants moved away after its completion and the village was totally abandoned in the late 1980s.

The area surrounding it is part of what has become known as “emptied Spain” – sparsely populated rural areas which lack many of the services found in towns and cities.

Salto de Castro has been put up for sale previously, for as much as €6.5m. However, with no buyers and many of the buildings vandalised, the price has plummeted.

The asking price of €260,000 is enough only for a one-bedroom apartment in well-heeled areas of Madrid or Barcelona.

But the eventual buyer of Salto de Castro could need deep pockets, at least in order to attract visitors.

According to Idealista: “The investment required in order to make the village 100% workable and to become profitable would not exceed €2m.”

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