What credit crunch? �30,000 - for a garage

AS property prices plummet across the country, some parts of Suffolk seem immune to the economic downturn.

Anthony Bond

AS property prices plummet across the country, some parts of Suffolk seem immune to the economic downturn.

So immune that a simple, single garage is on the market for �30,000 while the owners of one beach hut are looking to sell it for �50,000.

Both properties are on the market in Southwold - the prime minister's recent holiday destination.

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For those with the money, there is also another beach hut on the market for �30,000 and a �35,000 chalet on North Beach - complete with fitted bench, built-in cupboards and crockery and utensils.

The �30,000 garage - which measures 4.78m by 2.67m - is being sold by estate agents Flick & Son.

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Richard Leeming, a director at the estate agent, said: “Southwold has a shortage of three things - parking, gardens and garages. There are lots of second homes and within the market things like garages come at a premium and because there is a shortage it generates a market in itself.

“There are obviously money pressures at the moment but there is an element of cushioning in Southwold because of the outside demand from the buying public which is largely cash-based as opposed to borrowing.”

Adrian Smith, owner of Jennie Jones estate agents which is selling the �50,000 beach hut on Gun Hill, said: “I think there are so few of them and they do not come on the market very often. There are not that many about and there are people out there with lots of money, if they have a second home and have spare money then it is a sound investment to purchase a beach hut. It is like cars, there is always going to be somebody who buys the Bentley's and when they are not around very often people pay premium prices for them. It comes back to the old story that local people would like local homes, but they cannot afford them, so they go to wealthy people from down south.”

However, the high prices being sought for simple garages and beach huts do not please everybody in the town.

Teresa Baggott, mayor of the town, said: “You can look at this both ways. It is not good for the local people struggling to buy homes to stay in the town because they just cannot afford it. I have got youngsters and it is a little bit of a smack in the face for them when somebody is spending a fortune for a wooden hut on the beach.

“I am also not 100% sure that these people benefit the town financially because lots of them bring there own bits. When they come it would be nice for them to support the local facilities that we have.

“You cannot knock them though because they want to live here because it is a lovely place to live.”

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