The northern town of Roubaix is selling houses for €1 in a bid to regenerate rundown areas and has opened up a list for interested buyers who are keen to do DIY or fund the work.
Using an idea already tried in Stoke and Liverpool, the town council is aiming the first sale of 18 houses spread across the town at first-time buyers living and working in Roubaix or Lille Metropolitan area – although it said all offers would be considered.
The houses are rundown and candidates must renovate and live there for at least six years, all the time paying a share of the capital gain to the council.
The list for candidature opened at the end of March and will be open until May 31.
For each of the houses offered, 10 candidates will be chosen and offered the chance to view the property to see if they wish to go ahead.
If it succeeds, the scheme will be opened wider as Lille Métropole has 40,000 empty homes.
Houses in Roubaix sell for up to €2,978/m2, with 3-bed 70m2 properties selling for from €72,000 to €170,000.