Leading online estate agent, eMoov.co.uk, has taken a look at the spiralling cost of homeownership compared to the price of the must have Christmas gifts through the years. Although property prices have risen at an alarming rate, the cost of presents isn’t far behind and, in some cases, has exceeded property.
1980: The Rubik’s Cube
In 1980 the average house price was just £23,497 and since then has increased in value by an alarming 778%. In 1980 one of the must-have gifts was the Rubik’s Cube and the craze of matching the coloured squares swept the nation. At the time, you could pick one up to place under your tree for a mere £2 but, today, the must have Rubik’s Cube sells for as much as £13! That’s an increase of 713%, a rate of appreciation that only marginally trails house prices.
In the 90s Nintendo exploded onto the scene with the Gameboy, one of the first (and arguably still the best) handheld video game devices. At around £71 they weren’t cheap, but today the latest DS 3D comes in over £100 more (£175), an increase of 146%.
Despite this insane increase the average house price over the same period still exceeded this, up 276% from the average price at the time of £54,919.
The Furby was one of the next crazes to sweep the nation with it becoming the must-have for every boy and girl at Christmas. Since 1998 the average house price of £66,313 has increased by 211%. However, the Furby has also held its own down the years, originally costing just under £25, the latest edition is selling for £76, making them 206% more expensive than they were nearly two decades ago.
2010: The iPad
As the advent of technology started to put the more traditional toys on the back shelf, Apple flooded the market with everything from computers, phones and, in 2010, the iPad.
The iPad provided the perfect gift for those needing something smaller than their iPhone but not quite as big as their Mac laptop. They didn’t come cheap at £400 but now the latest model will cost you £729, an 82% hike in six short years. To put the cost increase into perspective, UK homeowners during the same period have only seen their property increase by 27%.
2013: The Xbox
When the original Xbox was released in 2001 the average house price was £92,533 and it cost £240 for the latest must-have games console. But 12 years later and the price of playing the latest Xbox had increased by 67% with the release of the Xbox One, costing £400,000! Despite this house prices during the same period increased by 89% to £92,533.
Unfortunately for those that had to have the Xbox One on release, the product hasn’t retained the upward price trend increase. In the last three years’ the price of the Xbox One has fallen by half, now costing around £200. Luckily for homeowners’ house prices haven’t followed suit and are up a further 18% since.
One of the hottest gifts of this year is the latest Nerf Gun. They first became popular in 2012 when the average property would set you back £162,924 and a Nerf Gun cost about £30.
In the last four years’ house prices have continued to increase, up 27%, however, the latest Nerf technology now costs over £40, an increase of 47%!
It’s a well-known fact that Christmas is probably the most expensive time of year, with many stretching beyond their means to provide the latest gifts and gadgets for their families.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that the cost of the must-have items during the holidays have seen similar, if not larger, price hikes than the UK property market itself.
When people talk about the struggles of obtaining homeownership they rarely consider the many underlying factors that come with it and the affordability issues of modern day life itself.
If you would have told me back in the 80s to invest into Rubik’s Cubes, I would have thought you were mad, but this research shows it probably wasn’t such a bad idea after all.Russell Quirk