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Abandoned Lake Waitaki Village, New Zealand, is for sale

(CNN) — Some people buy houses. Some people buy apartments.

Some people, perhaps, buy an entire abandoned town in New Zealand.
Lake Waitaki Village, located on the South Island about 180 km (112 miles) north of Dunedin, is up for sale for a cool $2.8 million.

The town, which was built in the 1930s as housing for men working on a nearby dam construction project and their families, has been sitting empty since the late 1980s when the dam was automated and no longer needed people there every day.

That also coincided with more and more New Zealanders opting to settle in cities instead of pursuing a rural life.

But don’t expect a creepy “Westworld”-style ghost town if you travel here to see it. Lake Waitaki Village is still in remarkably good shape, consisting of eight houses, a restaurant, a main lodge with a billiard room and full commercial kitchen, multicar garages and more.
One potential hurdle? Earlier this year, New Zealand passed a law making it impossible for foreign citizens to buy property there.

The reasoning behind the law was that real estate prices in New Zealand had soared so dramatically that locals couldn’t afford to live in the places they’d grown up.

In August 2018, when the bill passed, the country’s Trade Minister David Parker said: “We believe it’s the birthright of New Zealanders to buy homes in New Zealand.”

One wealthy foreigner, Silicon Valley tycoon Peter Thiel, was granted citizenship in New Zealand when he made a significant land purchase there. Although it happened before 2018, it was seen by some as an example of how rich outside investors might be able to circumvent the law.

With those rules in place, who might be able to scoop up Lake Waitaki Village?

We hear Kiwi-born director Peter Jackson is always looking for an exciting new film set.

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