As millions of sunseakers mourn the loss of their overseas trip this year due to the pandemic, many are rediscovering the humble staycation and holidaying at home instead.
And, as you would expect, this sudden influx of stay-at-home holidaymakers has had an effect on the property market.
According to the latest research by lettings management platform, Howsy, the cost of renting a beach hut in the most sought after coastal locations will set you back more than the average cost of renting in Westminster.
While research from GetAgent.co.uk shows the average cost of buying a beach hut in Dorset is more than the average house price in Burnley.
Howsy looked at the cost of renting a beach hut across five of the most sought after coastal locations on the south coast. The research shows that on average, the pint-sized properties will set you back £1,525 a month.
With staycations growing in demand due to COVID-19, it comes as no surprise that this is 2.6% more expensive than last year and in the broader context of the national rental market, this cost would sit between Ealing and Brent where monthly rental prices are concerned.
The most expensive beach hut rental hotspot is Mudeford in Dorset. While the cost of renting a beach hut has increased by the lowest annual amount compared to other locations at 1.2%, it will still set you back an eye-watering average of £3,860 a month. That’s more expensive than the average monthly rent in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Camden!
Whitstable in Kent is also home to an average beach hut rental cost of more than £1,000 a month (£1,232) having increased 4.1% over the last year. In the regular rental market, it would sit between Runnymeade and Woking in terms of the monthly rental cost.
Despite being the pinnacle of the regular coastal property market, the cost of renting a beach hut in Dorset’s Sandbanks is only the third most expensive at £948 per month; up 3% annually. However, it’s still enough to place it between Aylesbury Vale and Basingstoke and Deane where the monthly cost of renting is concerned.
While Southwold in Suffolk (£832) and Bournemouth (£752) rank as the least expensive in terms of monthly rental costs, they have seen the most significant annual increase in rental prices at 5.6% and 4.4% respectively.
Buying a beach hut
Alternative research by estate agent comparison site, GetAgent.co.uk, found that when it comes to buying, beach huts are predictably more affordable than the regular property market.
However, depending on where you buy, they can still set you back more than the average house price in some parts of the UK.
Based on current beach hut ‘for sale’ stock, the average beach hut will set you back £36,688.
Dorset is the most expensive location, where on average one will set you back £92,136; more than the average cost of buying in Burnley. However, one beach hut currently listed for sale in Dorest has an asking price of £300,000.
East Sussex ranks as the second most expensive spot to buy at £29,563 on average, followed by Essex (£18,568), Hampshire (£25,000), Isle of Wight (£17,500), Kent (£22,500) and Suffolk (£13,500).
West Sussex currently offers the best beach hut bargain buy with the average price at just £10,500.
Calum Brannan, Founder and CEO of Howsy, commented: “It would seem as though beach huts offer the solution to a buy-to-let sector that has been battered by a string of government changes to tax relief and stamp duty. While the cost of acquiring a beach hut is generally far lower than the regular market, the astronomical rents secured on them will be resulting in some very favourable yields indeed.
"Of course, seasonal factors mostly limit the rental income available, but they do make a very hands-off investment indeed and could provide the perfect toe-dip into the buy-to-let sea for a first-time investor.”