Some say it’s a property market with no foundations built on shifting sands, but beach huts are seeing a resurgence in popularity with around 6 new huts being constructed each and every week.
Beach huts are a quintessential part of the seaside, as much as piers, pavilions and promenades and have seen a major renaissance on our coastlines since 2010 according to real estate adviser Altus Group.
The humble Edwardian changing cubicle which have become chic seaside boltholes are proving more popular than ever as holidaymakers desperately snap up their own little piece of home beside the sea with Altus Group saying annual rents have increased overall by 64% during the last 7 years.
A national rise in Rateable Values, used to calculate business rates, hit around 89% of beach huts under last year’s revaluation of business rates reflecting rising rents and demand for the cabins.
Robert Hayton, Head of U.K. Business Rates at Altus Group, says that “Long waiting lists mean that sale prices can be high, whilst Councils are looking for increased incomes and are charging higher rents for the huts that they own.”
Despite rising rents, Altus Group say in 2010 there were 16,510 beach huts gracing the coastline of England and Wales but that number has now swelled by an extra 2,371 up 14.4% in number to 18,881.
Although Small Business Rate Relief provides a complete exemption from rates for properties with rateable less than £12,000, which covers the majority of huts, beach hut owners might still have to pay business rates if they own more than one hut or pay business rates on other commercial properties.
Beach huts in Swanage (Dorset), Sidmouth (Devon), Southsea(Hampshire), Fleetwood (Lancashire), Seaton (Devon), Wells-Next-The–Sea (Norfolk), Weston-Super-Mare (Somerset) and HaylingIsland (Hampshire) all saw increases in their Rateable Values of over 300% last.
The highest rises of 678% were applied to huts at Ulwell Beach in Swanage.
A property’s ‘Rateable Value’ is its open market rental value on 1 April 2015.