This isn’t about Britain, but it is about wooden houses.
Most single-family dwellings here in Norge are wooden frame houses. On New Year’s Day, 1992, the coastline north of Bergen and south of Trondheim got hit by a storm with sustained hurricane-force winds. (I was living in Trondheim at the time, and it was dramatic enough that far inland for my taste.) No one died as a direct result of the storm, though property damage was substantial.
One strong trend was noticed after the fact: older homes withstood the storm better than newer ones, although the newer ones were built to meet stricter codes. Why? Two reasons have been proposed, and I think both have some merit. First, the older homes were built in places sheltered from the wind, while newer homes are often located where the view is good, which pretty much guarantees they are exposed on at least one side. Second, newer homes were more likely to have an overhang on the roof to cover a porch, deck, or carport. When the wind blows hard against that overhang, it acts like a sail, and then it’s bye-bye roof time. In the older homes, the roof didn’t stick out very far past the outer walls, leaving little “sail” for the wind to push against.
In any case, though some people were left temporarily homeless, many more returned home quickly to damaged, but inhabitable, houses. Wooden houses can be built to withstand such winds. However, that takes money, skill, and incentive - where the winters can be windy and cold, you’ve got the incentive to spend the money and develop the skills to build a solid house. Where the weather is balmy and mild most of the time, except for a hurricane blowing through every thirty-odd years, the story is a bit different…
Also, remember that much of the damage a tropical hurricane causes is due to the storm surge, not to the winds!