World Cup Winning House Prices

19th June 2018

Beer cost less than two shillings (10p) a pint, when England won the football World Cup in July 1966. The players earned between £80 and £100 per week and aspired to live on new developments of mock-Tudor houses costing in the region £20,000.

Locally, Guernsey won the Muratti Vase, beating Jersey 3-1, and St Martin’s were well into their nine year reign as Priaulx league champions. The average working wage was between £20 and £30 per week and house prices were at nostalgia inducing levels. A modernised, two-bedroom granite-built cottage in the vicinity of Vazon was for sale at £3,900 and a three-bedroom bungalow in Les Huriaux, St Andrew’s with 250 feet of heated glasshouses, sheds, garage and attractive gardens was available for £6,500. £9,000 could buy a four-bedroom chalet bungalow with a double garage in the heart of St Martin’s, while a one-bedroom flat nearby in the Forest was on the rental market at £6.0s.6d per week (£6.2½p).

Advertised as “advisible to come and view” was a bungalow adjoining the L’Ancresse golf course. Price was upon application and specifically included the television. A modern four-bedroom house with sea views and within a minute’s walk of Cobo bay was four times the cost of the two-bedroom cottage at Vazon and comparable to houses on the burgeoning Fort George development.

Most notable in the summer of 1966 was the number of new housing developments in course of construction. Plots on Croutes Havilland Estate near the southern boundary of St Peter Port were sold for £750 in the same month that plots were sold on developments at Vale Road, St Sampson’s, Le Gele Road, Castel and Le Varclin, St Martin’s.

The distinctive high roofed houses at Castel’s Clos d’Albecq were being built and new developments at Les Cherfs nearby and at Le Clos de Bas in Camps Collette Nicolle, otherwise known as Green Lanes in St Peter Port, provided new houses for Guernsey’s expanding Open Market sector. As did Clos du Petit Bois in Rue Cauchee, St Martin’s, with plots being sold during the 1966 World Cup tournament at £2,000 each. Not that these developments or others like them were entirely destined for the Open Market. Houses with a Rateable Value of £50 or more were able to be occupied by, but not limited to, the growing number new residents without local housing qualifications. The Rateable Value level of eligibility was raised in September 1966 in an unsuccessful attempt to curb rising inflation before the Housing Control (Guernsey) Law, 1967 introduced a new housing control based regime that ultimately led to the present Open Market housing register.

Guernsey’s house prices are in the region of 100 times greater than when England captain Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966, but then, his present day successor, Harry Kane, has signed a six-year contract at Tottenham Hotspur reputedly worth £200,000 per week.

Cooper Brouard’s equally skilful but less highly paid captain, Matthew Brouard, says, “A lot has changed in the last 52 years, not least in the property world, but it’s clear that house buying in Guernsey has been a better investment than backing England to lift the World Cup for a second time. Can England do it this summer? Will house prices rise? I know where I’m putting my money!”