German city Hamburg auctions off unused refugee housing on eBay


The city of Hamburg has begun offering 50 former cabins erected to house refugees during the country’s refugee crisis in an unusual online sales auction through eBay on Friday.

The 28-square-meter large wooden dwellings are no longer required by local authorities as the number of new asylum seekers in Germany continues to fall. As a result, they are now being offered for sale at a starting bid price of 1,000 euros (1,140 U.S. dollars) to potential buyers.

“The response was already enormous on the first day, we had more than 100 requests,” a spokesperson for the country’s central coordinating staff for refugees told press.

The city of Hamburg is advertising the cabins online as being suitable as workshops, personal gyms or guest houses, stating the buildings were each valued at 23,000 euros following their construction three years ago.

“These are not just some random run-down shacks,” said the refugee coordination staff spokesperson. He drew attention to the exemplary heating, insulation, warm water, and electricity which had been installed.

Nevertheless, there is still a catch for potential buyers of the year-round wooden dwellings. The buildings need to be collected by their future owners themselves and can only be transported on German roads with a heavy-duty transport vehicle.