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Holt estate agent offers properties for sale at wartime prices to celebrate 1940s weekend

PUBLISHED: 10:37 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:29 16 September 2017

Anthony Burn outside Watsons of Holt, which is advertising houses for sale at 1940s prices. Picture: WATSONS

Anthony Burn outside Watsons of Holt, which is advertising houses for sale at 1940s prices. Picture: WATSONS

Archant

A Holt estate agent is getting into the spirit of the North Norfolk Railway’s 1940s weekend, by advertising houses for sale at wartime prices.

North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Antony Burn, who is branch manager at Watsons, in High Street, came up with the novel idea and, after speaking to visitors to Holt and District Community Café born in the mid-1920s, valued the properties at what they would have cost in the 1940s.

North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“We always try to get behind the 1940s weekend and, this year, rather than just turning everything black and white as we usually do, I thought it would be a good idea to research house prices,” Mr Burn said.

North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham. Kelly Martin and her Daughter Tia, 11.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham. Kelly Martin and her Daughter Tia, 11. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Chatting to café visitors in their 90s, he uncovered some fascinating stories, with one gentleman remembering when, in 1936, his grandfather was offered a whole row of eight terraced houses for just £500 and another cafe regular telling the tale of when he was offered three cottages in the 1940s for £140.

North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham. Valerie Cramer, left, and Janice Trant.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham. Valerie Cramer, left, and Janice Trant. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“Because it had more facilities and electricity hadn’t reached more rural areas, Holt back than was much more desirable than perhaps Blakeney or Cley,” Mr Burn said.

North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend at Sheringham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“It is the other way round now of course, and coastal properties can fetch up to 25pc more.”

The Eastern Daily Press celebrated North Norfolk Railway's 1940s with a special front page (Picture: Archant) The Eastern Daily Press celebrated North Norfolk Railway's 1940s with a special front page (Picture: Archant)

Houses for sale in Watsons window this week include a four bedroomed detached house in New Street on the market for £750,000, which, in 1940, would have sold for around £350, and the White House, a £210,000 three bed terrace property in Bull Street which, back then, would have been up for sale at just £45.

Also on offer is a three bedroomed semi-detached house in Grove Lane which, now on offer for £395,000, would have been priced at £69 in 1940.

“Typically, you could pick up a cottage in Holt for £45 or £50,” Mr Burn said. “But, in the war years, property didn’t really sell and, being quite a rural place where many people had farm cottages thrown in with the job, there wasn’t a huge demand so there were quite a few derelict cottages around at that time.”

While the 1940s window has attracted a fair amount of interest, Mr Burn insisted that the wartime prices were strictly for fun only.

“People will have to pay today’s prices for the properties I’m afraid,” he said.

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