A dilapidated pre-1914 villa sitting on one of New Zealand's best-known streets could sell for upward of $1.5 million despite the run-down state of the house and size of the land.

The pre-WWI home at 105 Franklin Rd, Freemans Bay, sits on just 275sq m of land but is one of the closest residential homes to the inner city.

The street, which attracts thousands of visitors each year with its Christmas lights display, is the closest residential street to the central city and sales are rare.

The pre-war house on Franklin Road still has original scrim and sarking walls.
The pre-war house on Franklin Road still has original scrim and sarking walls.

Even with worn floorboards, original scrim and sarking walls, stained wallpaper and peeling paint, the home could be a developer's dream with four big bedrooms, a long wide hallway and sunny yard with views to the Sky Tower.

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The house, with a council CV of $1.38m, also sits at the city end of the road - with terraced housing options under the Unitary Plan.

An industry expert said the property should expected to generate offers of at least $1.5m.

In his advertising for the property, LJ Hooker agent Wayne Espie warns "Do not be mislead by the trim exterior ... all is not well within."

Espie described the run-down house on the well-known leafy road as "a rare postage stamp of Auckland's most sought after 'dirt'".

The home on Franklin Road is zoned for terraced housing under the Unitary Plan.
The home on Franklin Road is zoned for terraced housing under the Unitary Plan.

"Hardened renovators, demolition specialists & developers - look in here - you may have met your match."

The home is sandwiched between a two-story character building owned by a local dentist and a glass-clad commercial building.

Espie would not comment on the listing, but one prospective buyer through the open home said the home was "begging to be restored".

"It's like stepping back in time, it's not often you get to go through a property like this," said one woman who did not want to be named.

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The pre-1914 villa, left, is one of the closest residential homes to the central city. Photo / Dean Purcell.
The pre-1914 villa, left, is one of the closest residential homes to the central city. Photo / Dean Purcell.

"It's walking distance to the city and you can see the Sky Tower but the back garden is beautiful and sunny."

Locals who went through yesterday's open home said the elderly woman who owned the property went into residential care last year.

"She was very quiet and kept to herself but would be out the front talking to her pet birds," one woman said.

"The birds would talk to people walking past."

Top criminal lawyer Marie Dyhrberg QC sold three of the five villas she owned on Franklin Rd in 2017.

The row of character villas are directly opposite the house at 105 Franklin Rd.

Three of those villas, on slightly smaller parcels of land, sold for $1.43m, $1.33m and $1.2m.