AN ENTIRE village has been snapped up by one lucky buyer for less than the price of a pokey studio flat in London after selling for just $164k
The anonymous buyer who bid buy telephone, is now the official owner of Alwine – a tiny village in Brandenburg state, 75 miles south of Berlin.
The decaying town has seen significant changes over the last 100 years.
During World War II, the Hitler Youth were trained around the corner and prisoners of war were incarcerated nearby.
Then when Iron Curtain went up, the village became part of Germany’s communist East.
Until Germany’s 1990 reunification, all the property in Alwine, which once counted about 50 residents, was owned by a coal plant.
Only about 20 mostly retired people remain in the cluster of dilapidated homes in rural Brandenburg state, 75 miles south of Berlin.
And the village is made up of just twelve buildings plus a scattering of sheds and garages.
But residents nervously wait to see who will buy the property as some fear the sale may bring unwelcome changes.
There were hopes of turning its decline around, but all the young people left to seek better opportunities in the west.
“These jobs have not been replaced everywhere in East Germany.”
Neighbouring municipalities have expressed no interest in taking Alwine on and that it is unclear what will become of locals once their homes pass into the hands of new landlords.
Mr Urbanek, who moved there after a divorce in 2010, said he likes Alwine because it’s quiet.
Except for one family, all of Alwine’s inhabitants are elderly.
But now the roof of his house needs to be replaced, he said, and the electrician doesn’t come by anymore.
Now the fate of Alwine rests on the result of the auction last weekend, with just one bid being made by an anonymous buyer.
Matthias Knake of the Karhausen auction house said it was the first time he was selling “an entire village” and that many people had expressed an interest.
Mayor Claus said he would invite the new owner to the town hall “to see how we can try to develop something here, in collaboration with the people, and not against them.”