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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 17:36 GMT
Costs 'slow down beach hut sales'
Beach huts
Mr Atkins claims rising costs are slowing the beach hut market
Beach huts with stunning sea views are no longer attracting peak prices of about 130,000, it is claimed.

There are currently 22 huts waiting to be sold in Mudeford in Dorset.

Last week, one beach hut at the site between Christchurch Harbour and Christchurch Bay failed to reach its 80,000 reserve price at auction.

Jim Atkins, chairman of Mudeford Sandbank Beach Huts Association, has blamed rising costs imposed by the local council for the downturn.

You have heard of killing the goose that laid the golden egg
Jim Atkins

Mr Atkins said. "There are 22 beach huts for sale at the moment whereas in past times as one came on to the market there was someone who wished to buy it.

"You have heard of killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

"A lot of people who have owned beach huts for a very long time are now finding that the cost of owning one is prohibited by the amount of site rent and also the fact that they are seeing a significant slice of what is their equity would have to be paid to the council if they decided to sell.

"A lot of people have put them on the market in the hope of selling before the new transfer fee comes into practise."

'50% fee hike'

A council spokeswoman said the annual site rent for a beach hut on Mudeford would be 1,748 from 1 April 2004.

She said the transfer fee payable to the local authority in the event of a sale would rise to 1,033 per square metre.

That makes the fee for an average-sized hut nearly 21,000.

Mr Atkins said that the transfer fee had increased by almost 50% a year for the past four years.

The fee after a sale in 2004/5 was about 14,500.


SEE ALSO:
Beach huts set to raise 350,000
11 Mar 05 |  Dorset


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