It’s hard to believe that Kirstie and Phil started presenting Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location way back in May 2000.
The first episode is well-worth a watch. Watch it to chuckle at the dated fashions and dodgy camerawork, if you must. But the main attraction is, of course, how unbelievably cheap all the properties are.
So as an experiment we tracked them all down to find out how much they are worth now.
The results are mind-boggling.
Inflation, inflation, inflation
The property that Kirstie and Phil eventually helped the home hunter to choose with was a bijou one bed ground floor flat on Prince George Road in Hackney, East London. It cost just £103,000 back in 2000. But last year it sold for a whopping £480,000.
Taking into account consumer inflation, that’s more than four times the flat’s value at the start of the century. It’s also almost fifteen times the average wage in the London Borough of Hackney.
Nor is there anything particularly special about this flat. It’s not like oil was discovered under it. Almost all the properties in the programme have quadrupled in value since Location’s first episode.
Table 1: Price increase of the properties featured in the first episode of Location, Location, Location
|Property||Price in episode 1||Most recent sale price||Current estimate||Increase|
|Cleveleys Road||£95,000||2012 – £230,000||£407,000||£312,000|
|Gould Terrace||£90,000||2013 – £267,000||£386,000||£296,000|
|Arcadia Court||£120,000||2017 – £425,000||£425,000||£305,000|
|Prince George Road||£103,000||2016 – £480,000||£489,000||£386,000|
Not all the flats remain in owner occupation, though. Like many homes over the last seventeen years, a few of them appear to have been rented out at some point – also for eye-watering sums.
For example, the one bed flat in Arcadia Court was advertised for rent in 2014 for £1,447 a month. That’s £17,000 a year – or around the pre-tax annual earnings of a person on the London Living Wage working full time.
The national picture
Of course, house prices in East London have increased particularly sharply in recent years. But the increases in Location episode 1 can’t just be written-off as a London fluke.
House prices may not have quadrupled in every part of England since the turn of the millennium – but average English prices have almost tripled.
Back in May 2000, the average sale price was just over £80,000, according to the Land Registry. As of April this year, it was £232,530. That’s 2.9 times higher than 17 years ago.
Average incomes haven’t increased at anything like the same speed. So, as a result, where the average English home was 4.18 times the average wage in 2000, it was 7.72 times the average wage in 2016.
Figure 1: average house prices in England since May 2000
Everyone knows what the consequences of all this house price inflation has been.
More and more people have ended up locked out of home ownership and paying high rents to private landlords for insecure housing. Many more families with kids and older people are now renting. And this hasn’t only happened in London, but across the country.
At the same time, we’ve manifestly failed to build enough low rented affordable housing and low cost home ownership to compensate.
Politicians now seem to have at least grasped how serious our housing affordability crisis has got and are talking about taking the serious measures needed to get to grips with it. But if ever they forget, they need only flick to that first episode of Location, Location, Location for a reminder of how off-the-wall crazy things have got.
 All estimates taken from Zoopla on 25/05/2017
 Not yet registered with the Land Registry, but an advert showing that the property had been sold http://www.winkworth.co.uk/properties/9095744/sales/arcadia-court-old-castle-street-london-e1/SHO160081