Beach huts not Benidorm: Holidaymakers book up at home rather than abroad
PUBLISHED: 06:40 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 07:32 31 July 2020
An appetite for staycationing has seen beach huts from Gorleston to sunny Hunny rented out all summer - and agents say they even have waiting lists for buyers
Beach huts from Gorleston to sunny Hunny are rented out all summer and agents have waiting lists of buyers.
As the temperatures soar, so has the demand for a beach hut as more people opt for a staycation over going abroad because of coronavirus. But unless punters get in quickly, there is almost nothing available to hire until late September.
And although there is a handful available to buy along the coast, certain locations such as the ever popular Wells-Next-the-Sea have waiting lists of potential buyers to snap one up.
It comes as Norfolk is proving a popular choice for a holiday with hot weather forecast this weekend. On Booking.com, for example, 96pc of all places to stay in the county for the first week of August were unavailable.
And even though the cost of renting a beach hut has gone up it hasn’t deterred people opting for a traditional bucket and spade holiday. Beach huts available to hire for £195 a week in Wells for people taking a holiday home with Norfolk Hideaways were completely booked up until late September. Even those on Airbnb such as The Den, also in Wells, available for £123 for three days hire, was completely taken for next month and most of September. Almost all of the beach huts owned by Great Yarmouth Borough Council in Gorleston, built last year - which the council struggled to selll - are also rented; just three were available out of 16 for a week’s hire for £157.50 from August 28.
And to buy one? Estate agents Belton Duffey has a waiting list for any which come up at the dog walking end of Wells; which fetch staggering prices of around £65,000-£70,000 each. This agent has none available there right now but four in Hunstanton for sale ranging from £9,995 to £15,000 situated off South Beach road with additional site rent of £550 for the season. The beach huts are furnished but have no toilet or shower - although there is access to facilities nearby.
Lynne Kettell, who works at Belton Duffey in Wells, said: “There is huge demand, not just this year because of coronavirus, but always for the dog end of Wells. We’ve sold one since we reopened after lockdown. The market for buying, and not just beach huts, has gone crazy; in the 10 weeks since the end of lockdown, I haven’t known anything like it.”
Another agent Cruso & Wilkin has three beach huts for sale from £21,000 to £49,950. The most expensive, in Old Hunstanton, right on the beach, comes with a tasteful interior decor with wallpaper and includes furniture, a granite topped wash stand and a two ring gas hob.
Back to the seaside
When buying a beach hut, they can come with added costs of ground rent, rates and an administration fee. People using them are not usually allowed to stay in them overnight and usually there’s a restricted use from around April to September.
Many beach huts even have to be moved in the winter, raised up on stilts for protection from flooding which can cost up to £2,000.
In prime locations, many holiday home owners buy a beach hut and offer it as an additional feature or charge a week’s rent on top.
Beach huts originated as contraptions on wheels used by the Victorians and pulled by horses to the water’s edge for bathing.
A beach hut recently sold at Mudeford, Dorset, for £325,000, believed to be one of the most expensive ever.
Compared to Norfolk, you’ll pay around £10,000 more for a beach hut in Southwold, Suffolk. And this was where one of the most expensive beach huts in East Anglia went on sale for a whopping £150,000, more than the price of some terraced houses.
The average cost of a beach hut is now £36,688.
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