A tiny island in the Loosdrechtse Plassen lakes near Hilversum with space for a single shrub has been sold for almost €40,000 after just one month on the estate agents’ books.
The new owner is not allowed to moor a boat there, spend time on it or do anything else with the patch of land, which is part of a nature reserve.
“Every island, big and small, you see around the Loosdrechtse Plassen belongs to someone and there are more private island owners than you think,” local real estate agent Florian Walch, told the AD.
The attraction of buying an island which you can do nothing with is obvious to Walch. “It’s fun, and it’s charming,” he said. The island, whose one shrub is just visible above the waterline, was on his books for less than a month.
“Thanks to the publicity around the sale we have another four or five to sell. You buy this to satisfy a whim. What better than to sail past and say: “that’s my island”, Walch, who doesn’t divulge the name of the new owner, said.
The islands used to be popular because they came with a hunting license for ducks and certain fish. That is now a thing of the past because of the protected status of the lakes and waterways.
But apart from people who have enough money to throw away on a whim, the islands also attract speculators.
“Sometimes people buy these objects because they think they can do something with them at a later time. At the moment they can only stop it sinking away, but it’s in a major recreational area and who knows, perhaps one day the council will allow you to do more with it.”