A 126-year-old Ponsonby property gutted by a fire which killed its owner has sold for $1.55 million at auction this morning.

The two-bedroom 1890 villa on Brown St in the central Auckland suburb went up in flames in October 2015.

The sole resident Valerie Gibson, 71, who had lived there for close to two decades, died in the fire as did eight of her dogs.

One of her Japanese chin dogs survived the blaze and was adopted by friends.

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But despite the extensive damage caused, the location - just minutes from the CBD - and size of the almost quarter-acre property attracted several potential buyers at today's auction.

The villa was damaged in a fire last year where a woman died. Photo / Nick Reed
The villa was damaged in a fire last year where a woman died. Photo / Nick Reed

70 Brown St, Ponsonby

• 2 bed, 1 bath

• 404sq m land

• Sold: $1.5m

• CV: 1.37 million

Bidding started at $1 million with at least half a dozen hopefuls vying for the coveted piece of real estate at the Barfoot & Thompson headquarters on Auckland's Shortland St.

Most people who looked at the property were interested in the land more than anything, said real estate agent Paul Studman.

"We did have some people looking at the house with a view to restore, recreate or rebuild, but it was the location that attracted most."

The house sat on 404sq m of land and had a capital value of $1.37 million.

"The house was finally sold to a fair and reasonable local vendor," Mr Studman said.

It's understood a friend of Ms Gibson's inherited the property and sold it.

It was bought for just $210,000 in 1990 when it had a CV of $230,000 and 10 years earlier sold for $28,000, according to property records.

The property was a "blank canvas" for buyers who would be up for a creative project read a Barfoot advertisement.