No lavatory and just 8ft by 14ft, but this £100,000 hut has a great view

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The Independent Online

It is too small to fit an inside lavatory and has no heating or hot water but a weathered redbrick beach-hut has been bought for £100,000.

Twenty years ago, when a family from Dorset decided to spend £7,500 on the 8ft by 14ft hut, which had no gas supply and meant sharing a lavatory with the neighbours, their lawyer warned against the move.

But two decades on, the Sandbanks peninsula beach-huts are much sought after. The family's solicitor, Joss Payne, is now grateful that his discerning clients ignored his advice. The one-room brick chalet at Southbourne Beach, Poole, which has a lease of 54 years, was not even on the market when investors approached the family.

Twelve days later, the new owners had taken charge of the hut - one of 20 terrace huts along the beachfront, which overlooks Poole Bay.

Mr Payne, a managing partner at Laceys law firm who handled the sale, said the fashion for beach-huts for second or third holiday homes rendered them an expensive collector's item.

"Back in 1984 when I handled the first sale, I told the buyer he was crazy to pay that much - but how wrong can you be?" he said.

Prices began rising when Londoners realised the huts were well located for weekend visits.

In 2002, a hut in nearby Mudeford Sandbanks changed hands for £73,000 and last year a London property consultant paid £100,000 for another. Early this year, a hut in the same area was put on the market for £145,000. The flat-roofed hut is unfurnished and the new owner still has to pay £1,000 stamp duty, maintenance costs, a yearly £500 service charge and domestic council rates.

But the french windows look out on to spectacular views of Poole Harbour, which estate agents feel is its winning feature.