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House Prices Mid-1920s


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#1 Sandi

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:11 AM

Hello, all! I haven't posted for years, I think. After what seems like interminable writer's block (I'm blaming my "interesting age"--well, why not? I blame everything else on it! But I digress...), I'm trying to research a new book. Problem is, I still can't decide on the time period, so I might become a nuisance with assorted questions! To get me started, though, would anyone have any idea of what a new terraced house would have gone for in the mid 20's? Nothing flash--something along the lines of the ones in Suffield Road (oh how I miss that house). Mind, I suppose at the time, that was quite flash! Nice sized garden, upstairs bathroom, etc. And if anyone wants to relate any stories--no matter how seemingly unconnnected to the topic--about the area at that time, I'd love to hear them! Many thanks in advance.

#2 sheff

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 12:56 PM

This page might be of some help about house sizes and their costs etc....

http://www.telegraph...-the-1920s.html

Edited by sheff, 01 February 2010 - 12:57 PM.


#3 twinkle

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 04:20 PM

My grandparents bought our house from new in 1929 for 750. Buller Road in Thornton Heath / Upper Norwood borders. 3 bed front/back garden, terraced.
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#4 Sandi

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:36 PM

Thank you both! Great information. The article comparing house prices then and now was interesting: I wonder how it compares in real terms? Especially since only the man would be earning. I'll have to think about that! Thanks again.

#5 Joe

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:06 AM

My Granparents purchased in Woodville Rd Thornton Heath early 30's for 800 (3 bed large garden terraced)

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#6 gekko

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:05 PM

My grandparents bought a newbuid semi + garage in the 1930s for 400. This was in Manchester so judging by the more expensive terraced equivalents in London, it seems there was a north/south price divide even back then. The layout was pretty much identical to our 1929 terraced house in CP, sadly not purchased for under a grand though! The people next door to us moved a couple of years back. They'd been in the house for 25 years and had bought the place for 50K.
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#7 JamesS

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 12:34 PM

Wowzers! It's easy to forget about inflation but still seems mega cheap. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems it was easier to buy back then.

My girlfriend and I earn quite well (when not made redundant) and we would struggle to buy somewhere round here.
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#8 NickJ

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 02:14 PM

This page might be of some help about house sizes and their costs etc....

http://www.telegraph...-the-1920s.html


That's an interesting point about house sizes. Our terrace house, in Chesham Road in Penge, was built in 1926 and surprised us when we first viewed it as the rooms, and especially the front hall, are a good size. We moved in in 2001 and the couple who lived next-door, who had been there since the Sixties, had known everyone who had ever lived in our house, which was apparently the original show house of the "Chesham estate". An elderly couple lived three doors along until recently and he had lived there all his life, since the house was new.

Incidentally, and I know it's a different decade, but my grandmother lived until her death in a house in Aylesbury that she and my grandfather bought new in 1935 for 660. The rooms might not have been as large as houses in the 1920s, but everything was very solidly-built - another difference between then and modern new-builds. It was in a mock-Tudor style with a studded oak front door and real wood all over the place. And a massively long garden, which you wouldn't get these days.

#9 Sandi

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:08 PM

"Our terrace house, in Chesham Road in Penge, was built in 1926 and surprised us when we first viewed it as the rooms, and especially the front hall, are a good size."

I love the houses in Chesham Road. We actually put an offer in on a Chesham house in Percy Road in the 90s--full asking price--but the vendor decided to put the price up! So we bought on Suffield, instead. Smaller property, but I still loved it. It had a nice feeling.

I just looked at a website http://privatewww.es...Money.html#1264 that indicates a craftsman in the mid 20s would have earned about 15 shillings a day. Round that off to 200 pounds a year. Let's say a house was 800 pounds, that's 4 years' wages. Bearing in mind that it would only have been the man working, houses were much less in "real" terms than today--although since there was only one income, I guess maybe not. Do you think I'm looking at that correctly?

#10 gekko

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 02:22 PM

It would still have been a big stretch for the craftsman - you are talking about the house value being 4 x income so it would depend on how large the deposit was and what mortgage lenders were prepared to lend at the time e.g. 2 or 3 x salary. To buy the same house now (assuming it was worth 300K) with a 50K deposit, you'd need a combined income of 80K. That's well out of reach for a lot of people and I think your craftsman would need a working wife to afford it now.

There are a lot of factors to consider though. Banks wouldn't lend at as high loan to value or x salary as they do now. Also, there are bills and food. How have the prices of those changed over the years in relation to salaries and now you'd be able to share the expense between two partners...
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#11 Sandi

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 07:52 PM

All excellent points, Gekko! Sometimes I wish I weren't so persnickety about details. So I guess my purchaser had better be something like a banker. It's funny, very few readers would actually care about details like that--but I would. I get terribly annoyed when I'm reading a book and something isn't right! It pulls me right out of the story.

#12 gekko

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 02:57 PM

Like you say, most people wouldn't pick up on it, but you'll always get a few who will and one of them might be a reviewer! Best to get things as accurate as possible in the first place I reckon. Anyway, researching this stuff is all part of the fun of writing a book. I think people like Sarah Waters spend heaps of time in the British Library researching for their books - that's historical novels for you. Maybe writing sci-fi is easier as then anything goes :D.
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