The UK housing market is "on fire," according to the Bank of England's chief economist - and it seems those extreme prices now extend to humble beach huts.
In fact, an Essex woman has recently sold one of hers for £48k - not bad, considering she bought it for just over £10k only four years ago.
Vicky Gunn, from Walton-on-the-Naze, is something of an expert on beach huts. She runs Millie's Beach huts, a site offering brightly renovated beach huts for holiday hire and featuring resources for fellow beach hut owners. Nevertheless, she was still surprised by the amazing profit she made on her hut.
“It’s really bizarre. £10,000 is a lot of money but £48,000 is life-changing for a lot of people,” she told The Guardian.
If you thought that beach huts were just glorified sheds - albeit very pretty, candy-striped sheds that look wonderful on Instagram - it's time to think again. The 20,000 beach huts in the UK are hot property, especially since the pandemic turned us all into a nation of staycationers.
Asking prices have shot up more than 50 per cent, according to Rightmove. The average beach hut now costs £39,392, up from £25,999 in 2020, and huge waiting lists and fierce bidding wars are now normal.
There are currently only eight huts available on Rightmove, ranging from £35,000 to £60,000 in asking price.
In some areas, beach huts can cost more than a house - although, if you were thinking of buying one as a home, it's worth knowing that it's illegal to sleep in one overnight.
The most expensive beach huts in the UK are found at Christchurch Harbour, in Dorset, where a hut in the exclusive Mudeford Spit resort sold for a record-breaking £330, 000 last summer. By contrast, the Office for National Statistics puts the average UK house price at £249,000.
If you can't stretch to buying a beach hut, you can always rent one for your holiday via sites such as Beachhuts4hire.co.uk - though you'll have to move fast, before they all get snapped up.
So, what's the superstar appeal of these seemingly humble huts? Johanna Lowery from Cool Coastal Huts, a trendy beach hut hire business based in Essex, thinks we are attracted by the concept of going back to basics.
"It is the simple things in life that bring us the most happiness and never has that been more appreciated than in the last couple of years," she told Yahoo.
"I feel that this is why beach huts are more popular than ever. - they provide a base for a great day out and a place where you relax or gather with family and friends
Not to be underestimated either, however, is 'The Instagram Effect'. "Beach Huts lend themselves so well to Instagram, as they are simply picture perfect," says Lowery, whose huts are fully booked until September. "Style wise, you can have them as basic or as bougie as you like."