Platinum Jubilee: Dunfermline estate agent looks back on property market over Queen’s 70 year reign
A DUNFERMLINE-BASED estate agent has reflected on the changes in the property market in the light of the forthcoming Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Local solicitors and estate agents maloco + associates have been looking back on the industry over the past seven decades with director Michael Maloco welcoming many changes which have taken place.
“Having had a number conversations recently about how much society has changed in the last 70 years, we thought it would be interesting to look at the facts and figures as relate to one of the core areas of our business, namely the property market,” he said.
“House prices, interior design choices, homeowner aspirations and the demographics of the property market can all be a useful barometer of the nation’s economic health and provide a window onto societal trends.
“So how has the property market changed over the last 70 years? Well, for one thing, the fifties were the first time many people enjoyed an indoor toilet, be that as a new homeowner or as a council tenant.”
The firm’s senior valuer, Kieran Newman, said housebuilding at the time of the Coronation was “at breakneck speed”.
“Just seven years after the end of the Second World War, slums and bomb-damaged properties were being demolished and, by the end of the fifties, over two million new homes had been built,” he commented.
“One of the most noticeable things about this, over and above the actual number, is that two-thirds of these were new local authority homes. Thirty years later, that fifties boom in local authority housing fuelled Margaret Thatcher’s flagship policy of Right to Buy and in many ways helped change the face of home ownership in the UK.
“In Scotland alone, half a million council tenants bought their homes, significantly swelling the number of homeowners. In 1952, two-thirds of people rented their home. Today, almost two-thirds of people own their home. For better or for worse and whether or not one agrees with the politics or the philosophy, we are today in many ways the home-owning democracy the 1980s Conservatives championed and the roots of this can be traced back to the years around the Coronation.”
Maloco + associates’ research shows that in 1952, the average house price in Dunfermline was around £1,500. The workplace was still a male-dominated arena and the average salary for a man was between £8 and £9 per week and just £5 for a woman.
“That expressed as a multiple of average household income means those who bought a house in 1952 paid around three-to-four times their annual household income,” added Mr Maloco. “Today, that figure is closer to seven times’ annual salary. In 1952, the average age of a first-time buyer was 27. Today, nationally, it’s 34 although it is closer to the 1952 figure here in Dunfermline.”