In Focus

Buy an entire village for less than some London flats

You can snap up Aberllefenni in Wales for £1.15m - or take your pick from our list of other villages and towns for sale across the world

Would-be property investors looking to get more bang for their buck are being offered the chance to purchase 16 homes along with dozens of acres of agricultural land for a total price of just over £1m.   

The historic village of Aberllefenni, near Machynlleth in mid-Wales, first came on the market for £1.5m in 2016. “Since then there has been plenty of interest, but nothing that's ever lead to a certified sale,” WalesOnline reports. 

Now, in a bid to finally secure a deal, the price has been reduced to £1.15m - “making it more or less what you'd expect to fork out for a swanky two-bed pad in Knightsbridge” in London, the news site adds.

The portfolio offers an “excellent investment opportunity providing income as well as the possibility of increased property value growth”, says estate agent Dafydd Hardy.

According to the sales spec on his self-named company’s website, Aberllefenni is surrounded by the Dyfi Forest and Cader Idris mountain ranges, which “are a mecca for walking, climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, birdwatching and fishing”.

Despite those attractions, “the last sale fell through in November 2020, which was frustrating”, says Hardy. “It’s the complex nature of the package that’s on offer that causes all the hold-ups, but there’s only one way to progress with something of this nature and that’s slowly.”

All the same, Hardy hopes a sale may be just around the corner. “We’ve recently had lots more people wanting to see it, and that’s despite all the Covid-related rules which are in place at the moment regarding viewings,” he adds.

Aberllefenni village in Wales; Dafydd Hardy

The properties originally housed workers from a nearby slate quarry owned by the family of John Lloyd, managing director of Caernarfon firm Inigo Jones & Co Ltd.

The homes, all of which are currently tenanted, went on the market when the quarry was sold in April 2016. 

But while such portfolios are fairly unusual, Aberllefenni is not the only entire village or town to go on the market. Here are four other options…  

1

Sweden

Sätra Brunn in Västmanland County, Sweden: £6.2m  

Sätra Brunn in Sweden

Christie’s International Real Estate

Sätra Brunn in Västmanland County, Sweden: £6.2m    

The 18th century village of Sätra Brunn in southeast Sweden was founded as a health resort by a doctor who believed in the medicinal benefits of mineral water, and has “always been a place where self-care is placed ahead of all else”, says Christie’s International Real Estate. 

Sätra Brunn was used as a wellness site for 320 years before being bought by the current owners in the early 1990s. The group of 15 residents “have lovingly maintained the 62-acre village of more than 70 buildings”, which include a school, church, hotel, conference centre, restaurant and spa complex, CNN reports.  But now “they’re getting up in age a bit and they feel like it’s time for someone else to take the lead”, says Jonas Martinsson, who is handling the sale.

2

Asturias, Spain

El Mortorio in Asturias, Spain; Iberia North

El Mortorio in Asturias, Spain

Iberia North

El Mortorio in Asturias, Spain: £1.66m

This “hotel village” in northern Spain is set in 32 acres of protected fields and trees and has mountain views on all sides. El Mortorio is currently a working hotel comprising 12 buildings including eight individual holiday homes and can sleep up to 48 guests. The village is just six miles from the market town of Infiesto, 35 minutes from the coast and less than an hour to the nearest airport.

3

United States

Cleator in Arizona; North&Co

Cleator in Arizona

North&Co

Cleator in Yavapai County, Arizona: £734,900

Described as a “true Arizona ghost town”, the former gold mining centre of Cleator “comprises 20 buildings and eight full-time residents, all of whom rent their property from the current town owners”, says Mental Floss. “There’s a general store, a bar, and even a yacht club (though without a nearby body of water, the complimentary yacht club T-shirts and membership cards are mostly a joke),” the online magazine adds.

And with mining rights also included in the sale, Cleator offers “endless opportunities”, says Justin Godsey, a broker at estate agent North&Co. 

4

Australia

Tarraleah, Tasmania, Australia; Knight Frank

Tarraleah in Tasmania, Australia

Knight Frank

Tarraleah in Tasmania, Australia: POA

Located in the Central Highlands, a popular tourist destination in Tasmania, the township of Tarraleah was originally built in the 1920s and 1930s as a hydro town for 2,000 residents. Now primarily devoted to tourism, weddings, conferences and functions, the township has an annual revenue of around AU$2.1m (£1.18m) and features properties including The Lodge (accommodation with nine suites, dining room and library); Cliff Top Spa; 15 Art Deco cottages; The Edge Function Centre; and the Highlander Bar & Restaurant. Asking price is on application, but according to LoveProperty.com, Tarraleah had a recent listing price of £7.1m.

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