Sold for £402,000: a boatshed just 13ft wide

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The Independent Online

An unprepossessing boatshed with corrugated iron roof, rickety doors - and a long-term tenant - sold for £402,000 at auction yesterday.

The 80ft by 13ft shed in the yachting resort of Salcombe, in Devon, was sold for almost double the guide price of £250,000, reflecting rising property prices in coastal areas.

But although the boatshed was described as "almost unique" by the auctioneer, Bob Petit, with boats having direct access to Shadycombe Creek through double timber doors, it does have a notable drawback.

A Salcombe resident, whose family have used the shed to build, maintain and store boats for the past 50 years, has a long-term rental agreement on the property.

But that did not put off seven bidders, who frantically raised the price until it approached almost half a million pounds. A Devonshire yachtsman with interests in the resort eventually outbid his rivals.

Mr Petit said it was the most expensive boatshed he had ever sold. "We have had some people who were very keen to buy it," he said. "It is a very good investment as there are only two or three boatsheds in Salcombe. And they come up once in a blue moon. To say it is most unusual does not cover it."

But he said that, in the short term, there is very little chance of developing the 1000sq ft store in the heart of Salcombe. Over the past three years, more than half of British coastal towns have seen a 50 per cent rise in average property prices. Four-bedroom beachside homes in the resort can be sold for up to £4m.

Mr Petit, who is one of the directors of Charles Head & Son estate agents, said he believed that the new owner's plan was simply to keep it as it is.

"The boatshed is big for Salcombe and it has the slipway. It is all about supply and demand. You can buy a house in Salcombe for £3m but have no parking or slipway. And the boatshed doubles as a garage, so he can get his car and his yacht into it, which is ideal."

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