Call me old-fashioned and nostalgic, but I am fond of terraced houses.
I've conducted some research that my fellow readers of the Cheltenham Property Market Blog will find intriguing!
Architecturally speaking, the terraced or townhouse has been prevalent in the UK since the late 1600s. It involves a row of symmetrical houses that share side walls.
The credit for the first terraced houses goes to Monsieur Barbon, a Frenchman who constructed them around St. Paul's Cathedral during the rebuilding phase after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Interestingly, the French invented the terraced house concept around 1610-15 in the Le Marais district of Paris, featuring planned squares and properties with identical facades. However, it was during the 1730s that terraced houses truly flourished in London and, of course, in Bath with the magnificent Royal Crescent.
Let's focus on Cheltenham .
Terraced houses emerged as a response to the Industrial Revolution, as people flocked to towns and cities for employment.
Terraced houses provided decent, habitable accommodation, offering an escape from the slums.
Interestingly, most Cheltenham Victorian terraced houses followed a standard design: a ‘posh’ front room for high days and holidays, a back reception room where the family resided daily, and a scullery attached to it (scullery - a small kitchen at the rear of a house used for washing pots and other dirty household work). Off the scullery, there was a door leading to a rear yard where you would traditionally find the privy or outside toilet! There were two good sized bedrooms upstairs, with a smaller third bedroom (or nursery) accessed directly through the second.
Notably, in 1875, the Public Health Act mandated that each house should have 108 square feet of liveable space per main room, access to running water, an external toilet/privy and rear access for waste collection (as there were no public sewers in Cheltenham at that time, at least not where these "workers'" terraced houses were built).
During the 1960s and 70s, an indoor WC and a bathroom were installed (often in that third bedroom or as a ground-floor extension of the scullery). In the 1980s, gas central heating became prevalent, and since then, there has been a continuous replacement of uPVC double glazing.
Two-storey terraced houses started to be built again in the 1960s, yet they were marketed as 'townhouses’. Since the early 2000s, with the price of building land rising so quickly, new homes builders started to build three-storey townhouses.
Looking at the makeup of all the Cheltenham Council area properties, some fascinating numbers appear.
Of the 52,898 households in Cheltenham …
9,690 are detached properties
17,599 are semi-detached properties
11,108 are terraced/townhouse properties
14,174 are apartments/flats
...the rest being made up of caravans and mobile homes.
Next, looking at the percentage compared to the national picture is interesting.
18.3% are detached properties (national average 26.1%)
33.3% are semi-detached properties (national average 31.4%)
21.0% are terraced/townhouse properties (national average 22.5%)
27.4% are apartments/flats (national average 20.1%)
So how has the Cheltenham terraced house risen in price?
Not bad when you consider the overall average in Cheltenham during the same time frame has only risen by 506%.
Terraced houses in Cheltenham often go unnoticed by buyers, despite offering flexible and sizeable accommodation. It's time to shed light on the untold story of these charming homes. If you're thinking of selling your terraced house and want to ensure you get the best price, look no further. As an experienced estate agent specialising in Cheltenham properties, I'm here to offer you expert advice tailored to your needs.
Remember to consider the potential of the terraced house.
These properties have a rich architectural history and have provided significantly more habitable accommodation for generations. From the standard Victorian design with its distinct rooms and rear yard to the modern-day improvements of indoor facilities and central heating, from the second coming of the terraced house in the last 50 years with the ‘townhouse’, Cheltenham's terraced houses have continually evolved to meet the needs of their residents.
Call me if you're ready to sell your terraced house and want to maximise its value.
As a local estate agent, I deeply understand the Cheltenham property market. With my expertise and personalised guidance, we can navigate the selling process together, ensuring you achieve the best possible outcome.
Contact me today to unlock the full potential of your Cheltenham terraced house and secure a successful sale!