1952: Bill and Ben
1952: Bill and Ben
Live in: Suburban Garden, England
Value in 1952: £3,033
Current Value: £356,593
Although no specification is given as to where Bill and Ben reside, other than a suburban garden, they have had one of the longest runs on our television screens, first airing in 1952.
Back then a detached house in England cost around £3,000. Today, that has increased a monumental +11943% to hit £356,593, putting them at the top of the property pile where price increases are concerned.
1971: Mr Benn
Lives in: Festive Road, Wandsworth
Value in 1971: £6,988
Current Value: £635,067
Putney’s 52 Festive Road is home to Mr. Benn before he visits a local costume store. This magical area has seen an impressive increase in property values since the show first aired in 1971, up +8988%, with house prices now +30% higher than the London average.
Lives in: Canterbury, Kent
Value in 1974: £10,110
Current Value: £287,339
This saggy cat is the star of just 13 episodes but continues to be a staple today with British children. His owner resided in Canterbury and property values there have increased +2742% since Bagpuss first aired in 1974, now +18% higher than the average in England.
1981: Postman Pat
Lives in: Valley of Longsleddale, South Lakeland
Value in 1981: £19,419
Current Value: £224,874
The local Postman Pat Clifton and his cat Jesse ensure that the post is delivered on their exploits throughout the fictional Valley of Greendale, based on the Valley of Longsleddale in in Cumbria’s South Lakeland region. Although the average house price trails the English average by -6%, it has increased +1058% since Pat delivered his first round on our screens.
1983: Winnie the Pooh (Welcome to Pooh Corner)
Lives in: Ashdown Forest, East Sussex
Value in 1983: £26,893
Current Value: £272,423
Pooh and his friends live in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex and currently enjoy a +12% higher average property price tag than the rest of England. Since they first welcomed us to Pooh Corner, prices in the area have increased by +913%.
1984: Thomas the Tank Engine
Lives Between: Brighton and Southwark
Value in 1984: £39,521 (Brighton) & £37,501 (Southwark)
Current Value: £362,405 (Brighton) & £507,766 (Southwark)
Increase: 817% (Brighton) & 1254% (Southwark)
The South Coast Railway leads Thomas and his friends from London through Surrey into Brighton. The property price increase enjoyed depends on what end of the line Thomas is calling home but with a +817% jump at one end, and +1254% at the other, he can’t go wrong with either.
1987: Fireman Sam
Lives in: Rhondda Cynon Taf
Value in 1987: £18,799
Current Value: £105,085
Fireman Sam has resided in Pontypandy since 1987, a combination of Pontypridd and Tonypandy, both of which are in the region of Rhondda Cynon Taf. Although Sam has enjoyed an increase of +459% since his first call out 30 years ago, property prices in the area are hardly on fire and today trail the Welsh average by -30%.
1989: Bodger and Badger
Live in: Brighton
Value in 1989: £89,043
Current Value: £362,405
Handyman Simon Bodger and his mashed potato loving pet badger star in this Brighton based series. Their home is a good investment, as property in the Brighton area is almost 50% above the national average. Bodger and Badger have seen property prices in the area increase +307 since 1989 – that’s a lot of mash potato.
1990: Rosie and Jim
Live in: Birmingham
Value in 1990: £41,368
Current Value: £175,399
These two ragdolls live on a narrowboat by the name of Ragdoll, so they probably haven’t benefitted from the increasing value of Birmingham property. Although the property values in Birmingham haven’t kept up with the English average (-28%), it does mean the area is more affordable. That said, they have increased by a notable +324% since Rosie and Jim first took to the water in 1990.
Lives in: Birmingham
Value in 1991: £40,602
Current Value: £175,399
Brum (our personal favourite) also resides in Birmingham and first aired a year after his neighbours Rosie and Jim. Since the little car has been sneaking out onto the streets of Birmingham the average house price has increased by +332%, hitting £175,339 today.
1997: Bernard’s Watch
Lives in: Nottingham
Value in 1997: £40,844
Current Value: £136,599
Bernard has been using his watch to stop time and stop him from running late since 1997. When he first hit our screens the average Nottingham house price was £40,844, trailing the wider English average by -34%. Since then Bernard (or his parents) have enjoyed a 332% increase in property values. But he probably should have used his watch to stop slow wider market growth as the current average of £136,559 now trails the wider English average by -44%.
Live in: Stratford-upon-Avon
Value in 1997: £83,914
Current Value: £312,117
Hate them or love them, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po captured the hearts of children all over the world with their funny language and child-like qualities. Tubbyland, based on a farm near Stratford upon Avon, has enjoyed a 272% increase since the Teletubbies first aired. In 1997, the average house price was 48% higher than England as a whole, but since that gap has closed, although it’s still 28% higher.
Of course, none of these fictional characters are sitting at home rubbing their hands in delight over the amount of appreciation they have seen in the price of their property. But it’s interesting to put UK market growth into context using different mile markers and ones that many will remember from their childhood.
The increase in property prices may surprise some, and make them feel rather old, as it only seems like yesterday we were sitting down with our tea and turning on the TV. These timeless children’s classics continue to be as popular with kids today as they did when they first aired and who knows what the average house price might be when they’re entertaining the next generation of kids.Russell Quirk