CELEBRATING OUR 500,000TH HOME

To commemorate building our 500,000th property in 2021, we're taking a look back at the last seven decades to see how culture, street scenes and homebuying has changed throughout the years.

Use our drop down menu below to be transported through the ages and click on each of the animations to find out more about them.

Scroll along the street by swiping left and right.

The first moon landing, the formation of the Beatles and the Concorde's initial flight made the 1960s a truly iconic decade. Flower power ruled this era, and as many people donned tie-dye patterns, bandanas and knee-high socks, Mini Coopers and VW Campervans dominated the roads.

Housebuying in the 60s

During this decade, people typically lived either in tower block housing or smaller traditional two-storey homes. As individual incomes rose, so did the average house prices in the 60s, making it around £2,530 .

An average household was made up of 3.1 people, with the average property having three bedrooms.

Interior design was huge in the 1960s, with brightly coloured, psychedelic colours and patterns being used in each room. Large shag pile rugs became a must-have accessory and bean bags, lava lamps and futuristic egg-shaped furniture were often seen in the properties.

Barratt's first years

As its first full decade in operation, the 1960s was also a significant era for Barratt Developments PLC. Whilst the company officially formed in 1958, known then as Greensitt Bros (Contractors) Ltd, the business really started to expand in the 1960s as it set down roots in the North East.

A major project at this time was the construction of a 103-bedroom hotel in Gateshead, which was opened by HRH Princess Margaret in 1966. The local landmark attracted many pop stars, including the Rolling Stones, and changed its name from the Five Bridges Hotel to the Swallow Hotel.

Whilst Barratt took on many commercial projects during the 60s, one of its largest mixed-use properties was a shopping centre in Darras Hall near Newcastle, which featured residential flats above it.

Whilst the 70s was known for its iconic music, stylish cars and the rise of punk, the economic struggle and technological innovation made it an extremely important decade for the housebuilding industry.

As we saw the likes of Star Wars, ABBA and the Raleigh Chopper bike win the hearts of the nation, a lot changed during this era which would lay the foundations for how our streets and homes look today.

Homebuying in the 70s

The average house price during the 1970s started at £4,057 but rose to £19,925 by the end of the decade. For many people during this era, borrowing money became harder due to the financial downturn, meaning fewer people were able to buy a new home.

Britain's biggest properties were built during the 70s, and homes started to move away from traditional designs, taking on a more whimsical appeal.

Inside the home, trends such as brightly patterned wallpaper and 'accent walls' were proving very popular, with homeowners using paisley décor and colours such as turquoise, brown and orange. The first domestic microwave was sold during this time and 64% of homebuyers had a washing machine by now.

Building the Barratt brand

Barratt Developments PLC also reached several major milestones throughout the 1970s and became a nationwide developer, bringing together a number of local brands to the unified 'Barratt' in 1973.

Perhaps the most iconic 70s trademark in its history was the renowned TV advertisement with the Barratt helicopter, which helped to turn the developer into a household name. The 70s was also the decade when the Barratt logo made its first debut, with the oak tree representing the strength, solidarity and security of the company.

For homebuyers, Barratt also launched its Part Exchange scheme for those looking to sell their home in exchange for a brand new one. The Mayfair style home from Barratt was also named 'revolutionary' and a 'sensation' by the media in its day due to the developer's extensive market research into what buyers needed at the time.

By the end of the decade, Barratt Developments was Britain's largest housebuilder, completing a record 10,000 homes in 1979.

The technological revolution of the 1980s rose as much as the hair dos in a stylish decade which was well known for its extreme fashion, dance fever and 'expressing yourself'.

The era was filled with movie cult classics such as Back to the Future and E.T and Michael Jackson first performed the iconic 'moonwalk', marking it a time of disco and soul.

Homebuying in the 1980s

The 1980s was a decade of boom for the property market, with homeownership on the rise. The era saw disposable income nearly double, and as getting on the property ladder became a more achievable goal for many, house prices started at £20,268, which then rose to £29,143 by 1985.

An average household in this decade was 2.65 people, and whilst the average number of bedrooms in a property stayed at three, the average size of properties had started to decrease to meet the demand of individuals and young couples making their way onto the property ladder.

Interior design was still heavily focused around patterns and frills throughout the home, but pastel colours were starting to become popular, as well as country and farmhouse designs and big open-plan kitchens.

Barratt's expansion

Whilst the 80s was a time for celebration, Barratt Developments was also marking this growth in the industry with the launch of Barratt London and Barratt America.

Throughout the 80s, Barratt pioneered a series of regeneration projects in London, when a home six miles from the city could be bought for £19,650. And when the company acquired the American National Housing Corporation, one of California's leading housebuilders, the establishment of Barratt America quickly became a huge success.

In 1981, Barratt also launched 'studio solo' - Britain's first, iconic, fully-furnished, fully-fitted, fully decorated mortgageable one-person home.

Barratt's new Premier Collection in the 80s was also doing well with property seekers, and even caught the eye of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who moved into her very own Barratt home in 1985.

The Scottish Highlands also became home to Barratt's first leisure facility, the Dalfaber Golf and Country Club.

The 1990s was a time of epic blockbuster films, the start of the legendary Harry Potter book series and a decade where it was stylish to wear skirts over trousers.

With the rise of pop culture, many iconic bands and artists ruled the decade and contemporary dances such as the Macarena made every party that little bit more special.

Continental Europe also became more accessible with the opening of the Channel Tunnel and everyday people had the chance to become millionaires with the launch of the National Lottery.

Homebuying in the 90s

The beginning of the 90s was a challenging time for the property industry, with a major recession hitting the country and increasing interest rates making it harder for people to secure a mortgage. The average price of a property during the 90s increased only slightly across the decade, starting at £58,153 and rising to £59,939 by 1995.

Homes in the 90s were filled with IKEA flat-packed furniture and futons. The style became more neutral and minimalised, with beige and taupe the colours of the decade. However, neon lights also surged in popularity due to their appearances in bars and on TV shows.

Barratt fights back against the recession

While the recession had an impact on the whole property industry at the start of the decade, Barratt came back bigger and better – branching out to new locations and continuing to build much-needed new homes.

The company even expanded across the channel with a collection of new properties in Provence in the South of France. The 16 traditional properties were set in a picturesque courtyard with a central fountain.

Whilst launching its new development across the Channel, Barratt was also creating substantial new communities in the UK. Its Glasgow development Hyde Park delivered a number of affordable homes as part of a £30m partnership.

And following the success of its last Premier Collection, Barratt reached out to homebuyers and used their feedback to design a new collection of modern properties, designed with its customers’ needs in mind.

Barratt also welcomed Lady Diana, Princess of Wales to its St Peter's Marina Village in 1991, which was a popular development in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

During the 1990s, Barratt Developments celebrated completing its 200,000th home.

As the 00s brought in the new Millennium, this memorable decade got off to a great start with celebrations far and wide.

Whilst the ‘Y2K’ or ‘Millennium Bug’ failed to hit, the invention of social media platform Facebook took the world by storm, with consumers all over the world growing their online presence by posting, sharing and liking content.

The noughties saw the rise of minor celebrities and audience participation with reality TV and talent shows dominating our screens.

There was also an upsurge in gaming, with the likes of Pokémon and The Sims increasing in popularity and Nintendo selling its 100 millionth Gameboy.

Homebuying in the 00s

With a new Millennium came an increase in house prices which rose to £156,236 by 2005. This was a significant decade for the UK housing market, with demand for housing causing this drive. In particular, more people wanted homes in seaside destinations, so coastal properties became very popular throughout the 00s. 

Oversized entertainment systems and the use of dark reds and browns filled homes during this decade. Shabby chic was also a very popular trend throughout properties, combining country and vintage styles together in one room. White kitchens and Tuscan-style bathrooms were also very trendy.

Barratt Building for the Future

As Barratt Developments looked to create more sustainable and environmentally-friendly homes, there was also a new name in housebuilding, with the launch of the housebuilder’s KingsOak brand. A number of localised divisions were formed across England, and KingsOak soon became one of the fastest growing names in the industry.

During this era, Barratt launched a pioneering new property, the Barratt iPad – a one-bedroom apartment – making home ownership more achievable for many.

Later in the decade, Barratt Developments also acquired three major new brands: David Wilson Homes, Wilson Bowden Developments and Ward Homes.

By the end of the 2000s, Barratt had completed a total of nearly 340,000 homes.

The 2010s were dominated by Twilight ‘Twihard’ fans, ‘One Directioners’ and the Disney blockbuster hit Frozen. Two major royal weddings took place, marking a new era for the royal family, and in 2014, same-sex marriages were legalised in the UK.

This decade also brought significant sporting firsts – the quickest ever marathon was run in just under two hours, and the UK hosted the 2012 Olympics in London.

Homebuying in the 10s

The 2010 street scene saw more townhouses and apartment blocks appear, and the cost of a typical property steadily rose from £170,365 to £197,890 throughout the decade.

In the 10s, the average number of bedrooms in a home fell below three for the first time since our study began – reflecting the rise in popularity of smaller properties for young professionals – with the average household settling at 2.4 people.

Cool colours such as blues and greys became a big interior design trend throughout the decade. Similar to the 00s, white kitchens were still hugely popular due to their clean cut and spacious appearance, but brass and bronze fixtures and accessories started to become a must have for this era.

Wallpaper and accent / feature walls also made a comeback, with many households choosing brightly decorated prints to accessorise their home.  

Celebrating 60 years of Barratt

The 2010s was a very significant decade for Barratt Developments, with the developer not only celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018, but also forming a first-of-its-kind partnership with wildlife charity the RSPB – which continues to this day.

Since pledging to create new communities for people and wildlife to thrive in, this joining of forces has seen Barratt lead the way in tackling the UK’s decline in nature. Another first for wildlife was the opening of Barratt’s Kingsbrook development in Aylesbury, which is the first housing development to be created in partnership with the RSPB.

Barratt launched many significant developments in the 10s, and saw the formation of a brand new division, Barratt and David Wilson Homes Cambridgeshire.

Throughout the decade, Barratt completed 150,502 more homes – edging closer to the 500,000 milestone.

Whilst still in its infancy, the 2020s are already making history due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which continues to sweep the nation.

In March 2020, a national lockdown was put in place to ensure the safety of the United Kingdom and prevent the spread of Coronavirus, a severe acute respiratory syndrome. This has led to many vulnerable people shielding by staying indoors and the majority of the population adapting to working from home.

As schools and non-essential shops shut their doors, the NHS has struggled to cope with admissions to hospitals across the UK, with many patients suffering with severe symptoms of the virus. To support the NHS heroes and other key workers on the frontline, rainbows appeared in the windows of many homes to brighten people’s days, with a real community spirit being shown.

Must-have items during this decade have included hand sanitiser, face masks and ‘keep two metres apart’ signage. 

Whilst street scenes so far during the 2020s have featured more three-storey properties and modern, four-bedroom homes, many towns and villages have also seen Covid-19 testing centres pop up to help keep on top of the spread of the virus.

The Big Barratt Thank You

Barratt Developments temporarily shut its sites and closed its sales centres during the first lockdown in March 2020. It gradually began to restart its operations from May, and has since featured extensive safety measures for the protection of both employees and customers.

At the start of the pandemic, Barratt Developments donated 400 defibrillators from its sites across the country to St John Ambulance to help tackle the growing cases of the virus. It also gave £100,000 to the NHS Charities Together appeal as well as face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser to help support their teams.

As part of the Big Barratt Thank You and to show its gratitude to NHS workers throughout the pandemic, it also offers a 5% contribution towards their deposit, up to £15,000 through its NHS 5% Deposit Scheme.

It is now celebrating a huge milestone in the housebuilding industry, with the completion of its 500,000th home. After starting building more than eight decades ago in the 50s, it has witnessed a whole array of house hunters secure their dream homes across the country at one of its many developments.

To mark the milestone, Barratt launched a Charitable Foundation to bring all its charitable giving under one banner, and donated £500,000 across 10 charities, voted for by its employees.

Whilst homebuying has dramatically changed across the last few decades and a UK street scene has adapted to our needs, the quality and assurance residents receive when purchasing a Barratt property is still second to none.

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