WHEN Gwyneth Paltrow included a deserted Spanish village on her Christmas wish list last year, the Hollywood actress turned ‘influencer’ was tapping into an already booming market.
But Santa disappointed the eccentric star who included the abandoned hamlet of Lugo in Galicia in her Ridiculous but Awesome Christmas Gift Guide on her website Goop.
It has been snapped up for peanuts by a Dutch couple.
For the incredible price of under €150,000 they get the village, a 360m2 house, two haylofts, a granary and a number of other buildings scattered around the Eo Valley.
They are among a slew of investors looking to make a quick buck out of abandoned pueblos across the countryside whose populations have deserted them for the cities and coast.
There are now more than 3,000 scattered across Spain.
And although only a few hundred are currently for sale due to a lack of paperwork, Spaniards are coming forward everyday to lay claim to the towns and their properties.
In fact, although 70% of clients come from abroad and tend to be British, Belgian and French, an increasing number of Spaniards are buying into the dream, according to Aldeas Abandonadas, a real estate agent managing the sale of dozens of villages.
One Malaga couple has just bought a Galician hamlet for €60,000, the agency revealed.
It comes not only with six cottages and 15,000m2 of land but the bonus of a €200,000 grant from the EU for doing it up as a rural tourism business.
The bullish market is seeing at least 20 Spaniards coming forward every month to prove they own a stake in the abandoned villages, while prices have risen by around 5-10% in just one year.
Aldeas Abandonadas has 110 villages available – average price between €200,000 and €450,000 – although there are some going for between €2.5 million and €7 million – the latter being a village in Huelva.
However if you’re looking to invest, be prepared for things to take time and try to avoid villages with more than 10 property owners, as it can prove ‘almost impossible’ to reach an agreement that suits every party involved.