British beach shack sells for $270,000

People enjoy the warm fine weather besides the sea on March 26, 2012 in Bournemouth, England.

Jeremy Hobson: This might be a hard story for you to hear if your house has lost value in the last few years. But there are some places where the housing market is still pretty overheated -- like a small corner of England, where a tiny beach shack just sold for $270,000.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: British beaches are not what you’d call stunning -- more hard pebbles than silky white sand. Often they’re whipped by a stiff wind from the Channel. And so far this summer, lashed with rain. That’s why in some places you need a hut so you don’t get pneumonia.

But $270,000 for one that has no running hot water or plumbing? Property expert William Green is staggered.

William Green: It’s an extraordinary amount of money. If you think that in some parts of the country you could buy a three, four -- possibly a five bedroom family house -- for what is essentially, when you strip it down, is a wooden shack.

But the company that sold the hut described it as “plush” and -- measuring 18 feet by 10 feet -- “spacious." A clue to the record price may lie in the stormy financial markets. As one London analyst said today: “the rich just don’t know where to put their money anymore… they might as well put it in a beach hut.”

I’m Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the London Bureau Chief, providing daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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