In this week's blog we are taking a trip back in time to when Elizabeth took the throne, Winston Churchill was still PM, and Sooty first appeared on the BBC. As full disclosure, O'Flynn Estate Agents was not in business in those days (and I doubt I was a twinkle in my father's eye) but with all the talk of affordability tests, interest rate changes, and inflation I thought it would be interesting to look back to a different time, to reflect upon the changes in the market.
To start with let us have a look at what the average house price is today, in Leicester and Leicestershire (according to Rightmove):
The average price paid for a property in the Leicester area in the last 12 months was £253,295
The average price paid for a property in the Leicestershire area in the last 12 months was £273,624
But if we go back to 1952, the average house price in the Leicester area was around £2,225.
To this end, an average Leicester property is around 121 times higher than it was in 1952, and if we factor in inflation of around 4.5% this is around £42,800 in today's money.
In 1952, the average UK house price across Great Britain was £1,891.
I wonder how much you think that average home would cost if it had risen in line with inflation?
I found that figure very interesting. To some degree, we must accept how far house prices have come from away from our salaries if you consider that we’d only pay just over double the average earnings (today) to buy a home outright.
Maybe that is why often our older friends and families feel that it was easier years ago to afford and buy a house.
With that being said in 1952, only 32 % of households owned their homes. Today the figure is around 64 %, although that’s down from the peak of 70 % in 2001.
We must remember that however much people berate the standard of today's modern new builds, millions of homes in the 1950s had outside toilets, very few people had showers, and a garden was a luxury many people thought they would never have. Things have moved on thankfully. Although I'm not sure what people in the 1950s would have thought of the idea of an outdoor living space, as a pose to the common garden, which is a trend we all have noticed in recent years if you use social media (see our blog).
Standards in living have increased on the whole, and the modern house is constructed to standards and levels of warmth and comfort that the average person in the 1950s would have only dreamed of.
In many ways, we are lucky to be living in the age of innovation, and progress, but with the impending cost of living crisis, and inflation hitting new heights, there is something to be said for having a stripped-back approach to living and ensuring we focus on the simple things in life. Something we all need to remind ourselves of from time to time.
As always if we can help you, make your dreams of a new home a reality, then feel free to get in touch. We are putting more homes on the market every week, and the property currently on our books is moving at a great pace.
Thanks for all your support - Karl.