Happy and Glorious?: Has housing changed for the better since the Queen’s coronation?


How have house prices transformed since the Queen’s Coronation?

UK house prices have risen by an impressive 336% since the Queen’s coronation in 1953 (once adjusted for inflation). 

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On 2nd June 1953, the day Queen Elizabeth II took to the throne, the average UK house price was just £1,891, equivalent to £63,511 today, when taking the rise in inflation into account. 

By contrast, as we approach Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, the average UK house price now stands at £278,000, which is a 338% increase

The changing times

The UK property market has changed dramatically since the beginning of the Queen’s reign, with advantages and challenges that have changed the way we buy our homes. The Queen’s silver Jubilee in the 1970s saw mortgages more widely available to more buyers, however high inflation had an negative impact on the repayments, making them unaffordable for many. 

By the 1980s, buying a home became an aspiration for many and saw the introduction of the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme, allowing people the opportunity to buy their rented council houses. However, by the late 80s, a pending recession and house market crash made it less likely to obtain a mortgage and repayments suddenly became less affordable for the average household. 

Property prices and the economy bounced back in the mid-90s, which allowed prospective homebuyers to obtain mortgages and buy their own home. 

The Golden Jubilee saw average house prices hit an all time high of £115,940 and increased the age of the average first-time buyer to 29 years old, a rise of 4 years since the Silver Jubilee in 1977. 

The average price of a home has continued to rise and has grown around 5.2% since the beginning of the Queen’s reign. 

The average house price when the Queen was crowned was £1,891, roughly 4x the annual average salary of that era. Today, the average salary house is currently around £278,000, which is around 9x more than the current average UK salary. These figures have pushed the average homebuyer in 2022 to 34 years old, as young buyers continue to struggle to get a foot on the property ladder. This is something that women find particularly difficult, as the ongoing gender pay gap puts them behind their male counterparts.

Jubilee Year

Average House Price Cost THEN

2022 Equivalent Price (adjusted for inflation)

Percentage Increase against 2022 prices

Average growth per year**

1953

£1,891.00

£63,511.00

336.14%

5.20%

1977

£13,150.00

£95,252.00

190.80%

4.50%

2002

£115,940.00

£222,442.00

24.50%

3.30%

2012

£162,924.00

£226,404.00

22.34%

3.40%

Your First Home: Then and Now 

Whilst house prices have increased dramatically, the age of the first time homebuyer has also gradually risen during the Queen’s reign. In the 1950s, the average first-time buyer, most likely to be married couples and men, was around 23 years old. Fast forward 70 years and the current first-time buyer’s age has increased to 34. 

During the 1970s, the average age of a first-time buyer rose to 25 years old, with inflation hitting a whopping 25% that resulted in unaffordable mortgage payments putting off younger buyers. The mortgage market did take off during this decade, with banks offering more people the opportunity to purchase their first home and single women now able to apply for a mortgage, without the need of a male guarantor. 

In more recent times, the increase in house prices following the 2008 financial crash and the property boom the country experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic has made it even harder for first-time buyers to buy their first home, resulting in the average age increasing to 34 years old. 

The cost-of-living in 1952

The cost-of-living has fluctuated over the years, with high inflation in the 1970s and the 2008 financial crisis hitting UK households hard. Since the start of the Queen’s reign, it’s clear to see the cost-of-living has increased across the board over the last 70 years alongside the dramatic rise in house prices. 

Staple foods that households rely on such as milk and bread have seen a significant rise since the early 50s. The cost of a pint of milk was between 2p-3p in 1953, compared to 51p today – a rise of 1789%. Bread has also seen a sharp rise over the years too, increasing from an average of 4p in 1953 to £1.15 in 2022, peaking at £1.24 in 2012. 

Petrol prices are currently at an all time high in the UK, with the average price currently standing at 170.62p per litre. In the 1950s, prices were hovering around 4.47p per litre and despite the impact of an oil crisis during the 1970s, the price of petrol during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee was around 17.4p per litre. 

Petrol

Year 

Price (pence)

2022 Price

Percentage increase to date

1953

4.47p

170.62p

3717%

1977

17.49p

170.62p

875.50%

2002

78.48p

170.62p

117.40%

2012

140.40p

170.62p

21.50%

Bread

Year

Price ( pence )

2022 Price

Percentage increase to date

1953

4p

115p

2775%

1977

8p

115p

1337%

2002

57p

115p

101.75%

2012

124p

115p

-7.25%

Milk

Year

Price ( pence )

2022 Price

Percentage increase to date

1953

2.7p

51p

1788.89%

1977

11.6p

51p

339.60%

2002

36.3p

51p

40.40%

2012

46.p

51p

10.80%

Are we really better off?

Seeing the figures laid out like this is pretty startling. While the way we live has improved drastically, from the advent of the internet to easy food shopping in local supermarkets, it seems the entry level for something as simple as your own home keeps rising higher and higher. 

At the moment, property prices are reaching record heights, which are sure to drive the average age of the first time buyer even higher. And what comes up, must come down, so will those who have been able to invest now see a drop in their investment later?

If you are trying to get on the property later for the first time or even looking to invest in a buy-to-let for your future, book an appointment with one of our mortgage advisors, our advice is completely free and may be able to help you move forward with your plans!

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