Back in Time 1970s: Remembering when you could buy a family home for £10,000 in Milton Keynes

As part of our regular nostalgia series, the Citizen looks back to the 1970s when housing was both abundant and cheap to buy or rent in the brand new city of Milton Keynes.

By Sally Murrer
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 1:49 pm

During the 70s and early 80s, thousands of new homes were springing up on estates all over the city and families were uprooting themselves from other parts of the country and moving here in droves.

With the average family home priced at below £10,000 and jobs in abundance, it was easy to understand why people were tempted.

For those re-locating from London and other inner cities, MK was classed as “the country”, with fields, parks and play areas in abundance.

An old Milton Keynes Development Corporation poster tempted people to come and live in MK

One woman recalls in an interview with Living Archive: “ I was living in the Harlesden area of North London in a high rise block of flats with four young children.. I was also in an abusive relationship and decided enough was enough. I had friends in Milton Keynes so in February 1983 with just a few carrier bags we jumped on a train and never looked back.”

Within months the young mum was offered a four bedroom house on Greenleys, where the rent was few pounds a week. There were also 149 homes for sale on the estate, costing between £10.000 and £12.000 each.

Meanwhile at the other end of the city in Bletchley, the Lakes Estate was also becoming the ‘must go’ area for Londoners. Designed as an overspill estate, it was jointly funded the Greater London Council (GLC) and Bletchley Urban District Council.

One occupant remembers how she moved there with her husband and child in the late 60s. "Having come from a furnished room in North London, with a single gas ring in the fire place to cook on, our two bedroom house was a dream,” she said. " A kitchen, bathroom, and separate toilet, dining room and even a garden with a shed.”

Fullers Slade in the 1970s

The rent was exactly £2.15s a week (£2.75),

In those days almost anyone with a job could get a house in MK. And all keyworkers were automatically give a house, usually close to where they worked.

By the end of the 1970s, the average house price had soared to £19,925.

Today the average house price in MK is £327,671.

Early housing on Greenleys