Jonathan Chancellor | 25 November 2012

Rye beach bathing box sells for $275,000

A Rye beach bathing box without power or water has sold for a record $275,000.

It was snapped up before its scheduled weekend auction. 

They might be a throwback to the 19th century, when the increasing popularity of sea bathing clashed with Victorian-era prudishness, but demand is still there for them.

The pre-summer sale betters the previous $170,000 Rye record, according to JP Dixon Portsea Sorrento agent Jenny Fink, who sold 122 Tyrone foreshore in Rye.

"There is no power and no water. It is just a box and it is on the beach."

But she said the beach boxes were bought by now elderly people who paid $4,000 for them and now "they just get handed down."

Victorians last year spent more than $5 million on beach boxes, according to a News Ltd report.

The tiny beach boxes dot Port Phillip Bay from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula. 

A Portsea box last year sold set a record $585,000.

A Brighton record was set 18 months ago when a new box sold for $260,000. Bathing boxes existed in Brighton as far back as 1862.

Those now on the market include one at Rosebud for $75,000, Mt Eliza for $65,000 and Mornington for $180,000-plus.

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