London's housing market 1996 - 2016:how the property map has been redrawn over the past 20 years

Since the first issue of the London Evening Standard's Homes & Property section 20 years ago, it’s not only London’s skyline that has changed almost beyond recognition. 

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Transport upgrades and huge regeneration programmes across London have transformed previously ignored parts of the capital, changing the way we live.

One in three London residents now rent, while first-time buyers are facing a tenfold increase in the cost of getting onto the first rung of the property ladder.

Behind all the change, there has been one constant factor in London over the past 20 years - the inexorable rise in property values, as our video, above, reveals.

Here's what else has changed...

1996 vs 2016

local councils held all the power.
Now: London has had an elected Mayor since 2000.

Routemaster buses.
Now: Boris Bikes. 

developers and councils rarely hired outside architects to design homes, hospitals, or schools.
Now: a “starchitect” name or an up-and-coming practice is seen as an essential expense.

One Canada Square was London’s only real skyscraper.
Now: the skyline has changed beyond recognition with additions such as the Shard, Heron Tower, the Cheesegrater and the Walkie-Talkie. With 250 more towers in the pipeline it is hard to imagine how crowded the skyline might look by 2036.

One Hyde Park had just been granted planning permission.
Now: after a million column inches, homes at this most-prestigious address fetch record prices. One buyer spent £136 million on a duplex. The scheme upped the ante for other developers, who now routinely add lavish health and leisure facilities to tempt buyers.

Kelly Hoppen’s “taupe on taupe” style was the look to copy; stencilling and scumble glazing were unaccountably hip, as were squishy sofas decorated with giant cabbage roses and heaped with pastel-coloured cushions.
Now: 50 shades of pale grey on the walls, engineered oak or polished concrete floors, and mid-mod furniture rule.

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