Beach huts – how are they performing as an investment?

3 May 2021 | Investment

This May Day Bank Holiday, PIT is running a staycation special series on a range of topics associated with a market that is expected to boom again this summer as foreign travel remains off the menu for most. 

With a staycation boom expected this summer, Britain’s beaches – both large and popular, small and secluded, and hidden and untouched – are likely to experience a big rise in visitors as most people holiday domestically.

But are they a worthy investment? The latest research by hotel room offer platform Hoo found that the price being paid for beach huts has surged by 41% in the last year, although continued lockdown restrictions have caused beach hut rental prices to fall by 4.1%.

Hoo analysed the beach hut property market, examining both the asking price of sale stock advertised as well as the cost of renting a beach hut in five popular staycation locations.

The findings reveal that the average daily rate of renting a beach hut sits at £52, down 4.1% when compared to the cost of renting last year.

Bournemouth – despite having one of the most popular beaches in the UK – sits at the more affordable end of the beach hut rental market, with an average daily rate of £26 per day. Neighbouring Sandbanks, one of Britain’s richest areas, has an average daily rate of £28, while Southwold in Suffolk (£28) – a very popular seaside resort – also comes in at the lower end where rental costs are concerned.

Whitstable in Kent is slightly less affordable at £50 per day, while Mudeford in Dorset tops the list as the most expensive beach hut rental hotspot at £130 per day.

To give this cost some context, consider that the average daily rate of a hotel currently stands at £64 and, even in famously expensive London, only climbs to £112.

Those renting a beach hut in Mudeford – a popular beachside and harbourside destination to the east of Christchurch – for a month could be looking at rental costs of £3,639, even more expensive than the average rent in upmarket Kensington and Chelsea (£2,977).   

When analysing the asking price of beach huts currently listed for sale on the market and how this compares to a year ago, the team at Hoo found that lockdown restrictions had inevitably hampered the beach hut rental market, but that the prospect of another summer of staycations has seen the prices of beach huts skyrocket.

A beach hut acquisition would, at the moment, set you back £36,034 on average, a 41% jump on last year. In some areas, however, they can cost significantly more, with three beach huts in Mudeford currently sold subject to contract at an asking price of £325,000.

“With a great deal of uncertainty remaining around what we can and can’t do this summer, there has been an understandable wobble in the cost of renting a beach hut. That said, beach hut rental prices remain robust and with another summer of staycations on the cards, they’re likely to climb considerably over the coming months,” Adrian Murdock, co-founder of Hoo, said.

“It also seems as though demand for beach huts is pushing up prices as holidaymakers invest in their own piece of beach hut bricks and mortar,” he added.

“A 41% uplift in the last year alone is pretty considerable although as with any property investment, location is key when it comes to both the price achieved and the property’s rental potential.”

Last year, we asked whether beach huts represent a sound investment or a waste of money. It seems certain, at the very least, they will be given a major boost by the staycation boom, but the initial outlay and the surprising amount of maintenance, costs and upkeep involved may make some think twice.

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This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.