The price of abandoned villages in Spain has doubled since the pandemic

by Lorraine Williamson
abandoned village

VIGO – “Buy a Spanish village for half of what a garage in London costs”, “A Spanish village for the price of a small apartment in Germany”, national and international media market the abandoned villages in Spain. 

Others offer money, a house or a job to families who bring new life to an (almost) abandoned village. Currently, a total of 96 abandoned villages, often more hamlets with a few houses and sometimes even a church or school building, are for sale throughout Spain. Forty of these are in Galicia, according to the offer of the specialised website aldeasabandonadas.com. 

More interest since the pandemic 

Galicia is therefore one of the Spanish regions suffering from the effects of depopulation. Here, four out of ten, the most properties of this type are for sale. During the pandemic, more and more small-housed Spaniards started longing for more space due to being cooped up. That period significantly increased interest in purchasing abandoned villages. They can confirm that at aldeasabandonadas.es. Often at costs well below that of a mortgage for an apartment in the city, hundreds of properties disappeared from the market as properties were snapped up. Howevern no, due to the shrinking supply, prices have now risen considerably. In some cases more than double. 

If years ago it was common to find buildings and large plots of land in rural Galicia for less than €50,000, now the average price of the lowest offers exceeds €120,000. 

Shrinking supply 

El Faro de Vigo writes that years ago there were many of these types of bargain villages, but for about a year and a half, the portfolio of uninhabited villages for sale has been practically exhausted. There are even owners who, after the real estate agent has closed the deal with a potential buyer, frustrate the sale because they decide to increase the price at the time. 

Most of the abandoned hamlets for sale are the result of inheritances. Second generations want to get rid of the heritage of the deceased grandparents because they do not live in Galicia, or because they do not intend to settle in the village. Or they simply need money. 

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Not just interest from abroad 

The buyer profile has changed and foreign citizens no longer make up the bulk of transactions. Although that group is not as large as before. “Today the main demand is national,” says Elvira Fafian of Aldeasabandonados.es. “Both from private individuals and companies. There are more and more people who want to leave the big cities and flee to the countryside. They flee the heat of communities such as Andalucia, Madrid or Catalonia.” 

Galicians themselves are also moving inland 

But in addition to potential buyers from Andalucia, Madrid and Catalonia, there is also an increase in Galicians wanting to settle in these uninhabited villages. Fafian: “We are seeing more and more young people between the ages of 35 and 40 with children looking for this type of property. For every ten visits, one is of this profile,” explains Fafian. She attributes this emerging demand to the high prices of housing in cities and the interest in natural environments. 

Partial sale 

Moreover, at Aldeasabandonadas.es they also notice an increased interest in the partial sale of these types of properties. Abandoned villages are sold to multiple buyers, either to multiple companies or multiple families, whether they have a connection with each other or not. “The owner is selling the entire property, but doing so to multiple buyers,” Fafian explains. 

Telephone sales 

She emphasises that there are also more and more buyers who conclude the purchase by telephone, without even having seen the property due to the limited supply. They don’t want to risk missing out and buy it based on the photos. This year, four sales have already been concluded in Galicia without the new owners having entered the village where they will settle with their family or business. 

Also read: Spanish version of Our Own Village about Brits buying abandoned villages 

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