A total of 33 houses have been sold out in a week in the city of Stoke for only one British pound each.
These houses were abandoned in the past 30 years, when a coal mine was exhausted and porcelain mills had to move elsewhere under the pressure of human resources cost in this small city that used to be known far and wide as a "Porcelain Capital" during the 18th century.
"Some of the properties deteriorate into a condition that people can't afford to repair them. People are given a house as part of somebody's will after they have died, but they don't really want it, and then you have got others where, because the area then starts to reduce in popularity and you might get an increase in anti-social behavior, you have other owner/occupiers, who will then sell and leave an area," said Neil Watson, the Environmental Health Officer of Stoke City.
In addition, criminals began to gather in the abandoned houses, causing disruptions to local security.
So, the city council decided to reuse the houses earlier this year and introduced a scheme of selling 33 abandoned houses with a purchasing price of only one pound each.
As it normally costs at least £100,000 to buy a similar house as the abandoned one, the scheme has attracted lots of buyers.
But someone wanting to buy one of the houses must still satisfy a number of criteria, including having lived in the city for at least one year and having an annual income below £30,000.
Buyers must commit to live in the houses for at least 10 years in order to build a sense of community. If they sell the house within ten years, the profits for the house must be shared with the government.
In addition, buyers are required to repair the houses by themselves, which will cost them about 30,000 pounds, and they can get a loan with low interest for ten years from the government, according to reports.
More than 600 people applied to buy the houses, but the final 33 selected residents still have to wait for three months to repair and decorate the houses. Many plan to move into the new house in spring next year.
Presented by Adam Justice