How Have House Prices Fared Since England's World Cup Victory?

Published on 5 February, 2018

1966 is a year that brings joy to the heart of any football fan. It brought us English football’s greatest day – the 30th July 1966, when England romped to victory in the FIFA World Cup Final against West Germany, with a final score of 4-2.

With the 2018 World Cup on the horizon, we decided to bring our two passions together – football and the property market. Here at Hatched, your favourite online estate agents, we decided to take a look at what’s happened to British house prices throughout some of the recent World Cup years…

Renovated house complete with plans

England’s Football Team Makes History – 1966

The UK’s economy was very different when the England football team won the prestigious trophy back in 1966.

The average pay was £23.47 a week for a man and just £12.11 for a woman. The average house price was under £4,000 – just three times the amount of the average man’s wage and four times the amount of the bonus our team was awarded for their World Cup victory.

To put that house price in perspective, it would be an equivalent value of around £61,000 in today’s climate – a long way short of the average house prices that we’d expect to see today.

So, what’s happened in the years since that legendary day?

House Prices in the 70s and 80s

(World Cup winners: 1970 – Brazil, 1974 – West Germany, 1978 – Argentina, 1982 – Italy, 1986 – Argentina)

This was a period of many changes that affected the UK - Thatcher’s historic term as the British PM, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, economic uncertainty…

In the months following July 1966, there was a six-month freeze on wages imposed by PM Harold Wilson in an attempt to steady the UK economy, a large increase in population and with it, inflation.

This had quite a large effect on the housing market, with prices rising at a startling rate. It peaked in May 1989 at an average house price of £70,246. However, the prices started to slowly drop in value before the first World Cup of the 90s began.

House Prices in the 90s

(World Cup winners: 1990 – West Germany, 1994 – Brazil, 1998 – France)

With West Germany holding the World Cup winning title, and Brazil yet to take it away from them in 1994, the UK housing market saw an 18% fall in 1992.

In the month that West Germany proudly lifted the cup (July 1990), the average house price in the UK was £57,245. By the time Brazil had won in July 1994, the average price had fallen to £51,731.  Although at first sight this drop doesn’t seem too huge, we need to remember that inflation makes this gap much bigger.

This crash happened as a result of the government's failed attempts to protect the value of the pound with high interest rates. These made mortgage repayments expensive and therefore less spending due to decreased disposable income, more borrowing, a fall in demand and therefore a fall in house prices.

House Prices in the Noughties

(World Cup winners: 2002 – Brazil, 2006 – Italy, 2010 – Spain, 2014 - Germany)

House prices began to recover between 2000 and 2007, followed by a 21% drop again in the second quarter of 2009. By 2011, they had stabilised again, with the north/south divide seemingly narrowing and house prices in London showing the least growth (at just 63% compared to 102% in the north). 

The 471-fold increase in house prices from the period of 1996 to 2016 makes property a better investment than gold and equities! However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that wages and cost of living have made investing in a property achievable for many. 

Housing Prices for the 2018 World Cup

After the initial boom years of the late 60s and early 70s, it wasn't until the early 90s that the house prices crashed. It's taken decades (and six World Cups) for the market to recover, with the average house price at £188,559 when Germany won the cup in 2014.

From 2014 onwards, the majority of the monthly changes in house prices have seen growth, despite the uncertain political climate. On closer inspection of the data from 1966 onwards, it looks as though any big changes in house prices have happened in the years around the World Cup... so hopefully 2018 looks to be a steady one!

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