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Price starts at zero for a house in Wales

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Crack open the piggy bank and buy yourself a house. A handful of coins could secure you an undesirable property in a mining village near Bridgend in South Wales. Still interested? The distressed res would require considerable upgrading; in fact you'd pretty much have to start from scratch, but don't dwell on the downside. Instead, in times of artificially-inflated property prices, embrace the idea of a house where bids start at zero.

The auctioneers are not exactly going for the hard sell, describing the property as "little more than a shell requiring complete renovation." But perhaps it's nice inside? Paul Fosh told the Sun: "We haven’t been inside the house as the windows, or what’s left of them, are all boarded up. We’re told all there is of the house are the walls. The only concession to comfort appears to be a leather sofa which is in the forecourt to the front of the building."

The auction has a nil reserve, so it's conceivable that the property could be snapped up for a fiver. "The new owner must be well aware that they’ll need funds to renovate the place as it is currently unfit for human habitation," Fosh stressed. "It doesn’t even have slates on the roof."

The key to successful property sales is location, location, location. The Bridgend region is undergoing regeneration, with a growing number of light industrial companies and considerable urban redevelopment. Following initiatives pioneered in cities like Liverpool, the council may be tempted to sell off derelict properties for a few pounds to encourage regeneration.

It would stretch even the most creative estate agent's talents to describe Bridgend as an attractive town. Its occasional appearances in the national media have usually been due to the morbid suicide cult that has gripped the region, with 79 deaths by suicide since 2007.

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