A real estate agent in New Zealand has gained worldwide attention for an unusual listing.

Kelli Milmine of One Agency in Oamaru is handling the listing of a village that has been mostly abandoned since 1989 after its main employer, a dam, was automated.

Lake Waitaki near Canterbury on the South Island includes eight 3-bedroom homes, a restaurant, lodge, 14 hectares of land, and water rights.

It was once home to 40 people and frequented by hundreds more but the loss of jobs and a preference for urban living has made the rural location unpopular.

The state sold the village in the 1990s but the current owner is struggling to find a buyer despite the seemingly bargain price of NZ$2.8 million, or C$2.4 million.

There has been interest from foreign buyers but last week New Zealand banned foreigners from buying homes that New Zealanders could live in themselves, to tackle supply issues.

However, Milimine says that Kiwis don’t want to pay more than NZ$1 million, almost a third of the current asking price.


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