Melbourne’s Brighton beach is famous for its colourful bathing boxes, and while the tiny wooden shacks could once be purchased for a song, buyers are now willing to pay a premium for their own small slice of sand.
Transcending their original purpose as changing rooms and storage spots, the bathing boxes, some of which date back to 1862, have become a status symbol for wealthy residents.
The shacks are scattered across the beaches of some of Victoria’s most affluent suburbs, and on a per-square-metre basis are among the nation’s most expensive pieces of real estate.
In 2018, a striped bathing box in Brighton set a local record when it sold for $337,000. In 2015, a hut on Shelly Beach in Portsea – the summer playground of Melbourne’s high society – sold for a staggering $615,000, more than the latest median capital city house price of $550,922.
For those with a spare $500,000 to spend on a private boogie board shed, here’s a selection of bathing boxes currently on the market:
S43 Boat Shed On Shelly Beach, Portsea
Price guide: $480,000 – $528,000
Located on Portsea’s Shelly Beach, this boat shed is tipped to sell for more than the median price of a house in Perth ($471,730), Adelaide ($469,486), Darwin ($500,970), and Hobart ($488,622).
Boatshed 8 Point King Beach, Portsea
Price guide: $450,000 – $495,000
“Breathe the rarefied, salty air of the very protected and usually calm Point King beachfront,” the listing for this Portsea beach hut reads.
90 Beachbox South Beach, Mount Martha
Price guide: $350,000
Across the road from Mount Martha’s shops and restaurants, this South Beach bathing box is on the market for $350,000.
Beach Box 100 Earimil Beach South, Mount Eliza
Price guide: $150,000
Fitted out with bi-fold doors, sealed timber floors, and a rotating and extendable bar, lounge, Moroccan metal pendant light and shelving unit, this Mount Eliza beach hut is billed as “the ultimate beachside retreat”.
Beach Box 198 Dromana Foreshore
Price guide: $230,000 – $240,000
“Store your boogie boards, canoes, buckets and spades and just pack a picnic and a towel for the easiest trip to the beach, no more packing the car for the day.”
Boat Shed Point Nepean Road, Rye
Price guide: $120,000 – $130,000
Up for sale for the first time in 35 years, selling agent OBrien Real Estate describes this Rye bathing box as an “amazing lifestyle purchase” with “uninterrupted million dollar views of the golden sands and pristine water”.
Beach Box 4 Shire Hall Beach, Mornington
Price guide: $80,000
A relative bargain, this humble Mornington beach box is a short stroll from the town’s main drag and is advertised at $80,000.