Architectural trends that everyone wants

Remember that 50 years ago it was difficult to sell the average Victorian or Edwardian property. Instead, the majority of the population wanted larger, more modern lifestyle properties in the suburbs of the Mittlerer Ring.

Times have changed, with the movement back into inner-city areas and the resulting fierce competition for what have effectively become “antiques”.

The interesting consideration of considering these ancient properties as antiques is that although most buildings depreciate in value over time, these coveted gems appreciate in value thanks to the limited supply of buildings and land available. This provides the double whammy of valuable building and valuable land.

The search for the next wave

Investors feeling squeezed out of this thinner zone will naturally be on the lookout for the next wave of architectural styles that will deliver long-term capital growth.

To determine what they are, it is necessary to start after World War II. Because properties built from this period are not usually classified as historic architecture, “retro” has come to be known as the description for anything ingrained in the psyche of the baby boomer generation.

At the top of the new scarcity list are 1910-1920 California bungalows. Often found on larger blocks of land, these were considered reasonably affluent when they sprang up on the edges of older, more established suburbs. They lend themselves to a variety of renovations and are generally located in districts with consistently similar residential styles.

Next, it’s worth taking a look at the mid-century styles of the 1950s and 1960s. These are the comfortable, bourgeois “blonde brick” veneers and quaint 1940s English bricks that populate leafy suburbs.

They are mainly underpinned by one critical factor – they are generally found in areas of high land value. A majority of this type of housing is also located in areas with easy access to desirable educational facilities, good transport infrastructure and leisure facilities.

High-quality houses from the 1950s and 1960s are very trendy in these locations. An important part of their appeal is that they are spacious, have simple floorplans and are solidly built, making them relatively easy to convert.

Their simple architectural style also makes them very adaptable. In contrast to a situation where a period-style property undergoes a state-of-the-art interior renovation – often destroying its historic character and being overcapitalized – properties from the 1950’s and 1960’s can take on a wide range of decor and furnishing styles.

Although still under development, apartments and houses from the 1970s and 1980s – again underpinned by high land value locations – show good growth potential and are an affordable entry point into the market for some investors.

This is particularly true of 1980s architectural styles, with exposed wooden beams and cathedral-style ceilings, which go well with the increasingly popular Nordic aesthetic.

Remember that unlike shoulder pads and stone-wash denim, architectural shapes, once in fashion, don’t tend to fall out. Although newer styles are coming to the fore, older homes continue to gain in value and appreciation.