Parents “How much did they cost?”
Me “The basic build was £12.5k then you added on interior options. It’s a new beach hut build and in great location right next to Walton Pier”
Parents: “Ok but if you can’t sleep in it, surely It has water and electricity, though, doesn’t it???”
Me: “Sigh…Errrr no, there is a tap and toilets less than a stone’s throw away”
Parents: “What? There isn’t a toilet?”
Why are Beach Huts expensive to Buy?
With a distinct lack of beach huts in Scotland and Scots being renowned for penny pinching, I knew that explaining my recent purchase of two beach huts was going to be difficult whilst at home with my parents for Christmas in 2015. How do you explain why you’ve just spent over £30k on two “sheds” on the beach when you can’t sleep over and there is no running water, electricity or toilets? Arguing that other beach huts are being sold in excess of £200k elsewhere was really a mute point, after all, you could buy a garden shed in kit form for a fraction of that and you won’t have yearly running costs in the form of licence fees.
Having purchased a further two beach huts over the last few months and placing our original two beach huts up for sale, I know what we’re doing when it comes to price and clearly see the value in owning a beach hut. But why are beach huts expensive? With both of our beach huts advertised at £16k and others demanding the same price as a small house, surely we need to justify our price?
So here goes, my top 5 reasons why a Beach Hut is expensive to buy:
1) The ‘Shed’ Building itself
Some would argue that you aren’t paying the money for the building, you’re paying it for the location. Whilst I agree that location, below, is the primary factor in how much a beach hut costs, there is a misconception that the building itself costs peanuts (that’s my technical term for not very much).
Whilst I could go on about the need for the right timber (one that will last the harsh coastal seasons and storms), the need for the beach hut to be built by hand and on the beach hut site itself, or you will need a crane to lift it in, the manpower and general need to have a hut built by someone who cares enough to ensure it lasts and doesn’t need to be replaced in 5 years times….. BUT I’ll let the lovely Cara of Gillies and Mackay do that for me (she really does say it so much better – Gillies and Mackay explain why a shed is expensive).
Having asked many beach hut owners how old their hut is, one gentleman has had his hut for 50 years and it’s still going strong. With a basic but quality huts costing upwards of £5,000, if you busy wisely and keep up maintenance and repairs, you’ll reap the rewards for years…… but no, the ‘shed’ doesn’t cost £200 to build.
2) Location, Location, Location
If you have ever bought a house or even thought about buying a house, you’ll understand this one and not need me to do a very bad impersonation of Kirsty and Phil. I’ll be quick with my attempt at explaining….
Your garden shed might only cost £200 to buy and assemble but if you have a small-ish £1 million house in London with a garden, that shed is taking up £10,000 worth of space on your land. As such you really have to think to think of a beach hut in the same way as you would a house purchase (I know I just told you not to buy a £200 shed but you get the analogy don’t you?).
There are actually two factors that influence a beach huts price when it comes to location. Firstly the coastal location will influence the price (Mudeford Spit beach huts sell for nearly 30 times those for sale in Dovercourt) and second, the actual location of the hut itself will vary the price. A front row beach hut, directly on the beach but within a few meters of facilities such as toilets, water and car parking will go for a much higher price than a beach hut just a few rows back, with more restricted views and/or limited outside space. You would pay more for that flat that is in a lovely private development with car parking than you would for the one around the corner above a nightclub – wouldn’t you??
3) Supply and Demand
The number of beach huts in the UK is actually very small and the basic laws of supply and demand influencing price also applies to beach huts. In some areas of the country, you’ll find that beach huts stay in families for years and are passed down generation to generation. When one of these beach huts becomes available for sale, you’ll find that many don’t make it to a formal advert and in other areas you hear of individuals waiting years on waiting lists for one to become available. You, therefore, won’t be surprised that for these locations, the price has steadily increased as the demand far outweighs supply.
Additionally, what a sane man or women would or wouldn’t buy with their money at what price depends entirely on how much money they have available. For someone on £20k a year a beach hut purchase may be unreasonable – for someone on £200k they may opt for what many people may consider a luxury.
4) A Long Term Investment
Over the last few years, beach huts have experienced a revival in popularity and are generally seen as a good long-term investment. Many owners will hold on to them for years, creating memories that span generations. Whilst property prices have fluctuated greatly, due to the demand and supply factors, this seems to have impacted beach huts less though as with any market this can change.
Whatever the reason for your beach hut purchase, if you love the beach enough to buy a beach hut, the chances are you are in for the long haul. With love and care, you will have a saleable asset if you choose to sell in future years.
5) Family time is Priceless
I was in a very stressful job when I first decided to buy a beach hut. I love the beach and with Millie at my side, every time I step onto the sand in the wind, rain or sunshine, my stress levels drop and I didn’t need to get on a plane and travel for hours to get that relaxed feeling!
Maybe you have a stressful job, maybe you have young children and looking forward to spending precious time watching them grow up, a beach hut allows you to have that dedicated, uninterrupted time (there is always airplane mode if you find the wifi does stretch to your beach hut!).
A beach hut is made for creating memories – can you really place a value on that time together??
Are you considering buying a beach hut?
So yes, a beach hut is expensive, they may cost a lot…. BUT in good weather they’re priceless. If you are strongly considering buying a beach hut then you may be interested in our Do’s and Dont’s of buying a Beach Hut.
Do let me know if you have any questions about buying a beach hut – we’d be more than happy to answer any questions and share our experiences with you!