A deadline has been introduced to a scheme in Italy that offers the chance to buy a house for €1 after it was overwhelmed with interest.

A deadline of 7 February 2018 has now been set for applications, leaving what is now less than a week left to apply.

The Sardinian village of Ollolai in the Barbagia region launched the initiative in 2015 to attract more residents after the local population had dwindled to 1,300, with few babies born each year.

After being covered by various media outlets the number of applications has risen to 120, with many coming from overseas.

Interest has also caused the website dealing with the offer to crash.

Mayor of the village, Efisio Arbau, has aimed to rejuvenate the community through the initiative, which invites people to buy one of 200 stone houses for just €1 (88p) – although there are strings attached.

The houses themselves are in varying states of disrepair and in need of serious work, and only those with around €20,000 to €30,000 to make them inhabitable will be considered.

The scheme stipulates that participants must commit to refurbish the property within three years of purchase, and can only sell it on after five years.