Britain Divided

new buildings

A mere fifty years ago the average price of a house in Britain cost just £2,507 and one in seven of those homes had an outside toilet. Today, the average house price cost £162,085 but understandably just two in every 1, 000 homes has an outside toilet. The rate of rampant property prices have rose by 273% in real terms between 1959 and 2009, with the growth of earnings only rising 169% over the same period.

The recent decade to decade data published paints a picture of Britain being more divided today than ever before with regional house price differences. Britain has fallen further and further behind London as the rise in real time earnings have increased in Greater London at a rate matched by no other city or region, but interesting Yorkshire and Humberside hold the lowest house prices just as they did fifty years ago.

Another stark difference is the substantial changes in both the number of households and their composition. As recently as 1971, fewer than one in five households were occupied by a single person against this rising to one in three by last year. This may explain why purpose built flats now make up 19% of new builds. Whilst semi detached houses were the hallmark of the 1930 and made up 41% of all properties between 1945-1964 they fell to 15% by 1980, bungalows have also declined, whereas detached houses now make up 36% of new builds since 1980 compared to 10% between 1945 and 1964. The other obvious differences of course are that our houses are warmer, the water is hotter and the toilet is at least indoors.

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