Thursday 6th June 2022
“It was June, and the world smelled of roses.
The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”
Maud Hart Lovelace – Betsy-Tacy and Tibb
And just like that, June is upon us, with wonderful weather, glorious roses and peonies (our best crop of peonies ever!), and of course, the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
I will admit to having lapped up the Jubilee pageantry on the television, the parades, the concerts, Prince Louis, the Balcony waves, Prince Louis again … (he was the gift which kept giving!).
I am eternally astonished by the commitment of the Queen, who ascended to the throne in her early 20s, with a young family, and committed to ‘the job’ for over 70 years, night and day. If only we all had that energy and drive.
It did make me cast my mind back to starting work … and I cannot get anywhere near to our Queen, but then again I am not 96 … (albeit I have been teased by many a former client and children that maybe I am not far off!); but did have my first job in 1977 (a Saturday job, aged 14), which was the year of the Silver Jubilee; and my first full time job in 1981 (the year of The Royal Wedding, in fact I actually was working AT the Royal Wedding, handing coffees and teas to some of crews filming and sending footage overseas). Memories still abound of that date in July, when I was able to walk down the middle of Oxford Street, no cars, few people, so many were celebrating that day.
I have been working full time for 41 years, (45 if we add in the Saturday jobs!), and am truly fortunate to be able to say that I have loved every job I have had – from early days in television industry (my first salary was £3500pa!!), to working on television game shows in the early 1980s, working for Esther Rantzen in the 1990s,
and then entering estate agency in yr 1999.
One thing I can, however, pride myself on, is always giving 100% commitment to each and every client, buyers and sellers alike; and this is why Sam and I love running our own business now, under the MAC umbrella, where we can keep our numbers of ‘live’ transactions extremely low in order to give best help, advice and commitment to our clients.
We believe that if we take on a property, and make promises to our clients to represent them to our best ability, that we should do just that. We make ourselves 100% available to our buyers and sellers at all times, personally handling all aspects of their sale/purchase, from attending the valuation at the outset, accompanying the photographers to try to ensure that the property being photographed looks as good as it possibly can, to carrying out each viewing in person, agreeing the sale, and liaising with solicitors and surveyors to manage the transaction through to exchange and completion.
Being committed to our clients, and doing what we say we will do, is the very least we can give to those who put their trust in us.
As one client recently wrote:
Nony is just what one might hope for from an estate agent, well that’s what you think at first, but you soon realise she is streaks ahead of her competition, tenacious, attentive, communicative, knowledgeable, well informed. Her warmth and attentiveness are so welcome through this very stressful period, nothing is too much trouble, before , during or after a move, a constant reminder that a dedicated service goes considerably further than one normally receives or expects. She is an asset to have on your side.
Thinking back across the Jubilee, it is interesting to see how house prices have changed over the years since Her Majesty came to the throne.
In 1950, the average house price was £1891, when the average salary was about £10 a week, and according to the article I have just been reading, the major innovations in that decade were the washing machine, and the fish finger!
I do remember our family having a washing machine in the 1960s, with a separate spin dryer having a hose which hooked over the kitchen sink to drain … which often unhooked, with cascading water across the floor which needing mopping …!
In 1960, the average house was £2530, with average salary being around £960pa! Televisions in homes were more commonplace, some even in colour (not us, sadly, we were still in black and white). I remember having to turn the television on to ‘warm up’ minutes before we needed it, and it closed down at night with the national anthem and a reminder to unplug our sets from the wall.
In 1970, the house prices started to rise again, with average price being £4057, and the early microwave ovens were starting to come out (first one apparently sold in 1974, we didn’t have one for years after this!), and average earnings were starting to climb but not enough to keep place with house price increases ….
Tom Baker was a favourite Dr Who,
and many of us wore long long scarves to emulate those he wore ….
Between 1975-1980, house prices quadrupled, to £19925, avocado bathrooms were all the rage (oh the joy of those, and carpets fitted up the side of the bath!).
I was in love with Adam Ant, and Blondie …
In the early 1980s, people were being able to buy their council houses,
and house prices rose to c£20268 ….
I had left school by now, done a Pitman’s Secretarial College, learning to type on a manual typewriter, and remember my first job having a daisywheel typewriter, and my next having a golf-ball! No self correction on those typewriters, and tippex/correction strips were our saviours.
My first boss bought a ‘mobile telephone’ (how that ‘mobile’ is laughable – it was the size of a brick, and had a large suitcase battery pack attached!).
I delighted in my VHS recorder, recording Dallas (yep, still remember being gripped by ‘who shot JR’!) and got a Sony Walkman!
We had shirts with frilly collars, wore pumps with clip on bows …
and sang along to Duran Duran.
Between 1985-1990, house prices were still rising – apparently by 16% in 1987 and a further 25% in 1988 (I must thank the article I read for all this fabulous information, via Sunlife.co.uk). The average house price by the end of this decade was £29143.
I bought my first flat in London in 1986 for £20,000 …
and my mortgage interest rate was 15%!
In the early 1990s, spiralling interest rates caused a housing crash – but average prices were still £58153, even after a 20% drop …
I bought my first home computer, an Amstrad 9510 – loved it!
Sam and I were married in 1992, and moved to the country, and bought mobile phones. I loved my orange screen Ericsson … which was somewhat a necessary accessory as I was commuting from Ipswich to Shepherds Bush daily … before returning to London in 1994, and buying a house in rather unfashionable Earlsfield for £135,000 …
In 1995, the market was recovering. The average price for a house was £59939 … and in 1997, house prices were on average 3.6 times the average salary.
In 1998, Sam and I, along with Ellie and Emma, were now moving to Hampshire, and settled into a charming rental property in Alresford …
Ellie started at Preston Candover Primary School, and Emma was in pre-school.
Adam Ant and Blondie were by now replaced in our earlobes by
The Wheels on the Bus and theme tune to Spot the Dog …
In Yr2000, house prices had increased further – almost £30k increase in five years, with average house prices across the UK being £89597.
Nintendo apparently sold its 100 millionth Gameboy (oh how we loved Tetris!).
According to the article I am reading, by 2005, house prices had leapt a further £70k. the average UK house price was now £156,236, whilst the average salary was £23900.
Ellie was by now at Perins, Emma growing up fast behind her.
Spot the Dog is replaced by sounds of Mariah Carey on the radio …
By 2010, the average cost of a property was now £170365 …
and Apple brought out the iPad …
By 2015, the average property price in the UK had increased by over £100,000 in 15 years, with the average house price being £197890 –
with average salaries having increased to only £27600.
By 2019, the article (which attributes figures to the UK house price index) reads that the average cost of a home was now £231215 ….
Bringing us to today:
In the 1960s, the average house price was £2530; today it sits at £250772.
Ellie has now left home, bought a house, is a full time artist, and is engaged to Ashley, whom she met at university eight years ago.
Emma is working full time at a solicitor’s firm in Winchester.
One thing we can always agree on … time never stands still.
And we now know what is in Her Majesty’s handbag ….
A marmalade sandwich …
Have a wonderful month, one and all !