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The evolution of property

“If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.” - Ludwig von Mises

Over the last two centuries, Britain has gone through enormous changes in society, culture, politics, and technology and these changes had their effect on the housing market as well. From Victorian style homes to modern day homes, housing and the property market has always been a top political agenda. Here, we are giving you a brief insight as to how the property evolved during these years.

The era of Victorian and Edwardian homes to 1918 was a time when public health was the priority and private renting was the norm. Homes from that time are part of U.K.’s rich legacy and embellish many towns and cities of today. The house roofs were built with traditional cuts with overhanging natural slate tiles and the walls were solid made of lime mortar and brick.

The period from 1919 - 1939 which was the inter-war period saw a major change in home designs and private housing gained momentum as mortgages became more affordable.  The housing was more cottage style and suburban. Most of the houses had timber hinge casements and cavity walls and concrete strip foundations.

The post-war time i.e. 1945 - 1959 was the recovery period since many houses were destroyed during the war. So, in order to urgently build houses, prefabrication was used massively and new techniques like TRADA truss were introduced. Single glazed galvanised metal windows were very common. Low-rise flats, bungalows, two-storey houses with terraces were built.

The period after that from 1960’s onwards saw a shortage of homes and local authorities concentrated on building a large number of tower blocks. The high-rise living and Utopian style took over and most of the families started owning properties.

The last 20 years of the twentieth century witnessed economic boom and technology played an important role in housing. The safety standards in housing were significantly improved and a path was set for much safer homes. A landmark housing policy scheme was introduced by the name ‘Right to buy’ which gave many tenants a chance to buy a property.

From the start of the 21st century to present, there has been a wave of ground-breaking innovation by architects, manufacturers, designers, and builders. The low-carbon energy technologies evolved rapidly and the impact of new construction on environment was taken into consideration. However, the affordability started to become an issue and private renting increased.

Though we can’t say what’s in store for the future, but social and demographic changes are likely to have a deep impact on how the new homes will be designed.  However, the focus will still be on building well-designed and environment-friendly homes and to achieve this technology is and will be a major contributor.


Jonathan Rolande

Authored by Jonathan Rolande

Jonathan started in the property industry in 1987 and has extensive knowledge of the property buying sector. Jonathan is also an avid supporter for more regulation in the industry that protects sellers.

Last updated on 27/03/2018 by Jonathan Rolande.

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