Beach hut sells for £ 325,000 as Covid stays spike prices
Soaring holiday prices have hit the once modest beach hut.
The cost of buying or renting has skyrocketed as millions of people decide to vacation in the UK rather than risk going abroad.
And the boom comes as many complain that they were billed hundreds of pounds more than last year for the same accommodation.
Although most have no toilets or running water, selling prices for beach huts have jumped 40% in some hot spots.
A real estate agent said: “The demand has been amazing.”
In the spring, a hut in picturesque Mudeford, near Bournemouth, Dorset, fetched £ 320,000.
It’s the same as a four bed detached house in Market Drayton, Shropshire, or a three bed detached bungalow in Kirkby-In-Ashfield, Notts.
But head east along the coast to Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex and you could pick one up for a relatively modest £ 45,000.
Meanwhile, rental charges are typically around £ 80 per day, rising to £ 126 at more exclusive locations.
An owner in trendy Whitstable, Kent said: ‘I usually rent my hut for around £ 40 per week. It has been like this for five years.
“But this year I have noticed that a lot of homeowners have increased their prices because the demand is so high.
“So I put mine at £ 60 a day and figured it wouldn’t be rented out but the whole summer was booked in about a week.
“I think I could have probably made up to £ 80 a day.”
Prices have skyrocketed despite Britain’s 20,000 huts being governed by strict council rules on when they can and cannot be occupied, with overnight stays largely banned.
Jo Tyler, a real estate agent in North Norfolk, says demand has doubled in the wake of the pandemic and shows no signs of slowing down.
Families and retired couples are the biggest fans, though most only offer the most basic amenities, she said.
Jo added: “The huts don’t have utilities so you can’t stay overnight, you can enjoy a cup of tea or a bacon sandwich using a gas stove, but they are primarily for storage. “
Another agent, Bob May, from Bognor Regis, West Sussex, said buyer interest increased after Covid arrived and there was now a long waiting list.
“As of February 2020, I had about seven or eight cabins for sale without any interest,” he said.
“By the end of May, I had sold them all. I now have a registry of about 100 people who are hoping
“Huts range from around £ 5,000 with relatively short leases up to £ 18,000, but prices are rising all the time.
“In 1995 I sold a hut for £ 450 – the same hut is now worth around £ 12,000.”
It adds to the pain of holidaymakers already facing soaring costs for UK hotels, Airbnb properties, holiday parks and other accommodation.
Cottage rental prices are 53% higher this month, at £ 222 per night, than in July 2020, according to property management site Guesty. August rates rose 34% to £ 229, he said.
One who? A survey found that there had been an average increase of 35% in the cost of holiday accommodation compared to last year, with sharp increases in coastal towns like Whitby, North Yorks and Llandudno in the north of the country of Wales.
A night in Brighton has gone from £ 53 to £ 127, the consumer group said.
Seven nights in nearby Eastbourne went from £ 409 to £ 696. A week in the Cornish seaside resort of St Ives has gone from £ 860 to £ 1,263.
Industry experts say travel agencies lost millions during the lockdown and strong demand for vacations as the economy reopens is sure to push prices up.
But some vacationers accuse companies of making a profit.
And there is concern that these prices will continue to rise as confusion continues to swirl around the rules of flight abroad.
Travel experts say 22 countries could be added to an expanded list of safe green travel when it is updated in mid-July, but that is by no means guaranteed.
Destinations like France, Italy and Austria could reach the threshold allowing Britons to visit them without having to quarantine themselves for 10 days on their return.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has relaxed her attempt to get EU countries to introduce tough rules for British travelers, amid fears over the Delta variant.
After meeting Boris Johnson on Friday, Merkel said she hoped those who had received a double blow could enter her country without quarantine “for the foreseeable future”, but gave no date.
The Prime Minister said fully vaccinated Britons should be able to travel more freely after the lifting of Covid restrictions on July 19.
The ministers want them to be able to visit the Orange List countries without having to quarantine themselves on their return.
This would put Spain, Greece and Portugal back on the list of destinations for millions of people.
But the World Travel and Tourism Council has warned holidaymakers risk another wasted summer unless EU leaders take a coordinated approach to the rules.
He says the government could lose £ 20million in July and August if international travel is still hampered.