Desperate banks and property owners trying to get rid of their property stock have joined forces with a group of entrepreneurs to attract property investors to property developments, empty shops and offices at drastically reduced prices.

The new idea evolves around a bus which tours the properties. In the 4-6 weeks that the project has been up and running around the town of Marbella, in southern Spain, already 20 per cent of the properties on its books have been sold.

The bargain hunter property bus is nothing new, the idea originated in the US where the subprime mortgage crisis forced thousands of homeowners into foreclosure.

“Around 25 per cent of the investors that go on the tours end up closing a deal” says Africa Leon, the director of the initiative. One example cited by Africa included a property which was on sale for 600,000 euros last year, was closed last month for a mere 190,000 euros.

The property bus dubbed “chollobus” in Spanish, has also initiated tours in Madrid this week, and is expected to begin operations in Barcelona over the coming weeks.