It was confirmed this week that shed prices are continuing their unstoppable rise, as estate agent Shackleton's announced that the price of a one roomed garden shed had risen by 15% in the last year. A spokesman for the company said that demand was massively exceeding supply.
The rise in prices has been welcomed by shed owners but is not good news for everyone. First time buyer Wong Price and his wife Toohai have been looking for a cheap shed for their garden, but were shocked to discover that it would cost more than their house was worth. They are now looking to see if they can rent one instead.
Garden property analyst Yardley Hutterwood said that the problem lay in the housing market. "Until recently, sheds were only used by people to store their useless crap, or for husbands to hide their porn stash. But now they have shed that old sheddy image, we are increasingly seeing that people are choosing to buy a shed to live in, or as a long-term investment. This has pushed up the prices so much that casual shed users are no longer able to afford one."
As sheds become more popular as a place to live, there has been a great demand for luxury versions too. These can contain unexpected features such as swimming pools, attics and even four-poster beds. Many owners try to outdo each other in how luxurious they can make theirs, inspired by property shows such as "Load Your Shed".
There has also been an increase in the number of people who were offering a "two for the price of one" shed - essentially by cutting it in two and renting both halves separately. Although this increases the amount of sheds available for rental, it has led to numerous court cases due to people complaining about their half-shed being too small. Lawyer Yulgeta Waiwethit famously defended a shed owner from a litigant by saying that although the property was legally too small to house a chicken, there were no laws defining minimum property sizes for human habitation.
Some enterprising would-be shed owners have had to resort to building their own sheds, but even they have found that the cost is not as cheap as expected. Hutterwood said that there were "shedloads" of people trying to buy a luxury one-room shed in central London, and building one was even harder due to planning permission. He added, "Also, corrugated iron is through the roof."