House prices rise princely sum during Queen’s reign

In this week’s guest column chartered commercial surveyor James Fairman takes a look at home ownership over the Queen’s 60 year reign.

HOME ownership over the Queen’s 60 year reign has generally been a financially rewarding experience for most people.

The Halifax shows that when the she first took to the throne, the average house price was £2,200 against £162,000 now, even with recent setbacks.

In 1951, 202,000 homes were completed nationally with a peak in 1968 of 426,000. Last year however this had dropped to 137,000 units.

Demand now far exceeds supply with affordability a key factor in determining sales. The population has now increased from 52 million in 1952 to an estimated 62 million residents. However, even if the population had remained constant, demand would still have increased because fewer people live in traditional family units.

It is estimated the percentage of single person homes has risen from 19 per cent to 33 per cent, whilst that of married couples has fallen to just 40 per cent, over the Queen’s reign.

Estimates predict that to meet the demand at 2020, 2 million extra homes will be needed throughout England. Lincolnshire is predicted to need another 37,000 units.

The Office of National Statistics predicts Boston will see one of the highest population growths, with their forecast of an unprecedented increase of between 17 and 19 per cent over this period.

This figure contrast sharply with a recent report issued by Experian commissioned by the BBC. They measured the number of new companies made insolvent in the East Midlands and put Boston 298th out of 324 towns after the total number of companies fell from 3,020 to 2,903 in the last two years in the area.

Key factors in this decline were claimed to be related to a general lack of infrastructure in road and rail, university quality young people leaving the town causing a brain drain and Boston’s classification as a high flood risk area.

The report will not have taken into account recent improvements to Boston’s roads and a planned sea barrage.

However, the message from this seems clear, there is a clear risk that unless Boston’s infrastructure is improved, it will grow rapidly, to the possible detriment of the population.

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James Fairman is a chartered commercial surveyor, MRICS and registered valuer who has worked for local and national firms including Savills. He is based in the town at Fydell House and can be contacted via email on He specialises in sales, building surveying, investment acquisition, valuation, rating and development.