Rechristening upscale beach huts as surf pods has failed to convey cachet with investors, despite initial interest. Plagued with cancellations, the project has been returned by the estate seller back to the originating council, which hopes to recoup the expense of constructing Europe’s first man-made reef — an ambitious luxury in a time of belt-tightening. See the following article from Property Wire for more on this.
They were once regarded as a trendy piece of real estate that would be snapped up by property investors in the UK keen to have a view of the sea.
But now it appears that the once chic beach hut is no longer in vogue.
Six months ago Bournemouth Council in the south of England put 43 beach huts on the market priced at between £65,000 and £90,000.
But despite being given a 21st century look and re-named ‘surf pods’, only seven have sold.
The huts at Boscombe in Dorset, where Europe’s first artificial surf reef has just opened, generated a lot of interest at first with 400 people registering an interest, 100 attending the launch and 15 sales agreed on the first day.
They have been designed by hip British designer Wayne Heminghway, have balconies, French patio style doors, toasters and tasteful curtains but this just does not seem to be enough to attract buyers and a number of sales have fallen through.
It could be that people don’t have the money or restrictions such as no overnight stays with the power being switched off at night, and small 25 year leases are putting people off.
Real estate agents Savills confirmed that it has only sold seven huts and that a number of sales were canceled.
‘Savills agreed to assist with the launch of the beach pods on behalf of Bournemouth borough council and to remain as selling agents for an approximate six month period.
A review would then take place depending on budgets,’ a spokesman said.
‘A number of sales were canceled in the weeks that followed due to the lengthy period between this time and the supply of purchase contracts from the council.
Having reached a budget limit for the pods, Savills elected to pass the sales of the pods back to the council,’ the spokesman added.
The council, which wants to raise enough money from the sale of the huts to cover the £3 million cost of the new reef, has now appointed a new estate agent.
‘Leisure services still require a pro-active agent to explore new marketing and sales opportunities which Savills are no longer providing,’ said Roger Brown, the council’s director for leisure.
‘From the beginning we have anticipated that there would be a long period of selling and that is why we have now recruited Goadsby to continue to raise the profile of the pods.
We are received inquiries about the beach pods on a daily basis and expect the launch of the reef will give our sales drive a major boost,’ he added.
This article has been republished from Property Wire. You can also view this article at Property Wire, an international real estate news site.