Changes in the Elizabethan property market
- 20th September 2022
- Landlord Property News
How the property market has changed throughout the Elizabethan era
Spanning seven decades, the Elizabethan era saw incredible innovation and progress, not least in the property market.
At the start of the Queen’s reign in 1952 the population of the UK was around 45 million and there were 14.1 million homes. The majority of which were rented, with just 32% of people owning their home.
The 1950s saw a boom in house building, replacing those that were destroyed during the war and building more stock. 248,000 new homes were built in 1952, with the average price of a home just £1,891, according to Nationwide Building Society – equivalent to around £65,224 in today’s money.
The majority of new houses built in the 1950s were for rent, but the balance began to swing towards privately built homes, peaking with 400,000 new privately built homes in 1967.
The increasing availability of mortgages and the Right to Buy scheme introduced in the 1980s, allowing council house tenants to buy their rental property, led to a dramatic shift from renting to home ownership.
Since the start of The Queen’s reign, the population of Britain has grown by around 40%, while the number of homes has only doubled. Owner-occupied households have quadrupled since 1952 from 4.1 million to 17.8m by 2010 and when Her Majesty celebrated her platinum jubilee in June 2022, the average price of a home was £257,968. However, the lack of supply has created high levels of demand in both the sales and rental markets.
The growth of buy-to-let lending has also contributed to a revival of private renting over the last 20 years, with more than 4.5 million households now renting privately. For many – particularly young people starting out in their career – renting a property offers flexibility around where they live and how long they stay for, positively encouraging labour mobility and economic growth.
The recently opened Queen Elizabeth line has been a key factor in opening up large parts of the capital to students and young professionals by significantly reducing travel times from home to work. Named in honour of our late Queen, it is a wonderful tribute illustrating how capital infrastructure benefits the capital by driving London’s dynamic economy and supporting the property market.
Stephen Ludlow, Chairman at ludlowthompson says: “Over the course of Her Majesty’s exceptionally long reign, the way people live and the property they live in has changed immeasurably. When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952, the majority of her subjects were tenants in rented homes.
“The policies of successive governments have encouraged home ownership and by the start of this decade the majority of households in England were owner-occupied."
“At the same time, the private rental sector has filled the gap left by state, providing accommodation for a wide range of individuals and families choosing to rent."
“In London, where many young people come to study or start their first job, renting remains a positive option and there is huge demand for good rental properties.”
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Over the course of Her Majesty’s exceptionally long reign, the way people live and the property they live in has changed immeasurably. When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952, the majority of her subjects were tenants in rented homes.
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