The Rise and Rise of the ex-Council Home
One of the great things about selling homes in the Hersham area is the great variety of housing stock.
In the last few years, we at Castle Wildish have listed properties ranging from £99,950 to £6.45m – quite a range, and with a fair bit of variation in selling styles required too!
However, one of the constants in any year is the sales of 1950’s former local authority houses in the area – of which there are many. Hersham must have looked very different seventy-five years ago. The station arrived on Molesey Road in 1936 (before this Walton-On-Thames station was known as ‘Walton for Hersham’), with much of the area set out as orchards and farmland.
Within a few years of the station arriving, the local authority set about a program of building across Hersham and the 1950’s saw the same styles of 3 bedroom houses – built in pairs of semis and blocks of four – spring up from Queensway in the east to the Longmore Estate (running along the Hersham bypass) to the west, with Vaux Crescent and Burwood Road to the south.
Following the right-to-buy scheme, many of these properties are now in private ownership. Whilst they might not be considered glamorous, they have proven to be good investments as well as sturdy homes – of the many sales I have arranged over the years none have fallen foul of the surveyor – yet!
The real beauty of these houses is that they date back to a time when land was plentiful, so gardens are often generous. One such home which I sold last year on Robinsway had a garden of around 140ft – good value at a sale price of £385,000. The garden sizes also mean that many of these homes have been extended over the years.
Talking of prices, these houses have performed at least as well as privately built homes in the area. As an example, I looked at prices in Longmore Road, Hersham, where the last three sales have exceeded £400,000 and the average sale price for 2014 was £384,491. That represents an increase of over 81% from 2004, when the average sale price in the road was £212,000. Winding the clock back 15 years to 1999 and the net price in Longmore Road was £129,950, so prices have nearly trebled over this time.
When I started in estate agency in the late 1980s it was not uncommon for buyers to shun ex-council houses, but this is a trend which has largely reversed in the past few years, as house prices have risen and purchasers are seeking what they perceive as better value for money. In my view these houses represent a good definition of ‘WYSIWYG’ (what you see is what you get) – they’re not flashy, but they are well built, functional and generally have great gardens. Over the years we’ve sold hundreds of these homes in Hersham, many of them a few times over
– it will be interesting to see what values they reach fifteen years from now.