A GARAGE or a two-bedroom flat – how would you prefer to spend £50,000?

A forthcoming auction has valued a single garage in Hove and a two-bedroom flat in Horsham with the same top-end guide price.

Those looking for a bargain in the property market could be forgiven for doing a double-take at the spread in a brochure released by Brighton auctioneer Parsons, Son and Basley.

However, while each property has its own redeeming qualities and plus points, the level-pegging in value highlights the relationship between very different types of property in different locations.

The single detached garage in New Church Road, Hove, has potential beyond its looks.

It is a freehold plot with the possibility of redevelopment, meaning whoever buys it could start from scratch on the site.

It is near Hove Station, the seafront and shops in Church Road.

But taking a 25-mile jaunt north to Bishopric Court in Horsham, the same potential outlay could bag you a two-bedroom 1930s flat.

The vacant flat comes with a small sun balcony and there is a parking area. That said, it needs redecoration and the buyer has to pay £4,670 a year in service charges, including heating, hot water, gardens and lifts, as well as negotiate a new lease.

A misprint in the catalogue showed that the flat had a 99-year lease from March 25, 1997. The auctioneer has advised The Argus that the lease is actually valid from 1977, meaning it only has 62 years remaining.

The auctioneer said that this is reflected in the property’s value and he added that the £50,000 guide price for the two properties is not merely a carrot on a stick – they are realistic closing prices.

Richard Payne, auctioneer for Parsons Son and Basley, told The Argus there had been some bad press regarding the final figure attained at auctions over misrepresentative guide prices.

He said: “We are RICS compliant and have always avoided any misrepresentation on auction sales by making sure the client is made fully aware that any reserve price agreed must be between the guide prices quoted.”

The auction takes place at Hove Town Hall in Norton Road from 3pm on September 26.