The desire to have those ffxiv houses reused
We were originally warned about housing reclamation in December 2013 in the 2.1 patch notes and that it'd be coming with 2.2, but there were so many complaints about it that they indefinitely shelved it and that never happened.
But then after multiple blog post complaining about inactive houses and the desire to have those houses reused, they reworked it and we were told back in October 2015 that housing reclamation was coming with 3.1. This was then confirmed in the 3.1 patch notes. Both of the those links say about if you don't walk into the house with 45 days it will be demolished and if it is demolished you have 35 days to collect your items/80% compensation money.
They do send two emails to the email address on the account before it is demolished and I realise you've said you didn't receive any email so I recommend checking your email address on the account is still valid as well as if it's been traping their emails in any junk/spam folders. Failing that, shout at your email provider as they might be running their own block list.
Housing demolition was also posted on the launcher at the time as well so everyone playing was actively informed (and having a working email address should have informed everyone not playing, but there's only so much Square Enix can do to tell people...)
The housing reclamation started with 3.1 on 9th November 2015, but due to the Kumamoto earthquake in Japan it has actually been suspended since April 2016 and has been repeatedly pushed back and won't be started again until 3.4 (27 September 2016). The free game time you recently got was due to the Free Login Campaign and was for 5 days since 25th July 2016. This unfortunately wouldn't have helped you with your house as that would have been demolished at somepoint between November 2015 and April 2016 and then the items/money deleted 35 days after that.
Well I appreciate that's a personal opionion, but there's 45 days before anything happens, an in game warning, 2 email warnings and even when it is deleted, you still have 35 more days to collect. After that yes it is gone, but that's quite a long period of time and all you have to do to save the house is walk into it... (or talk to the vendor to get items back)
I'm curious to know how you came up with such an exact figure, but although I don't know the definite answer to your question, I suspect it's nothing to do with data storage and more because they want to motivate players to login (and play?) as well as if they can ditch the data it's one less thing for them to have to worry about storing/converting/updating in the future. Also housing was originally supposed to be a massive ffxiv gil sink (so many things put money into the game, very few take them out) so they want to remove as much ffxiv gil as possible to help slow inflation. Getting back 80% of the ff14 gil was supposed to be compensation, but now of course every player wants that 80% back and won't just relinquish the plot for nothing knowing that they could get money. Deleting the money after those 35 days allows Square Enix to have that Final Fantasy XIV Gil sink again.
They already get a lot of stick for the Mogstation and at least everything on that you buy is untradeable. If they had a paid restoration they're essentially giving you money/items that are tradeable, for a real world price. Obviously they are items that you once did own, but it's no longer acting as the ffxiv gil sink it was and I can only imagine how many accusations and money grabbing there would be about SE still having the data and only handing it over after you hand over a fee etc.
Extremely Frustrated, come on SE
And to anyone reading this who's only response is 'change servers', I'm not throwing away my hard-earned ffxiv gil due to low ffxiv gil caps during server transfers, or leaving my friends behind just because SE can't add fights to DF in a timely fashion. That would make me quit this game even faster.
Please Final Fantasy XIV fix this ASAP
I finally get my first friend request from ffxiv gil seller (yay!). It was obvious enough, the request came out of nowhere, the character was level 1 and even have the phrase ffxiv gil seller in its name
Amazing things to look forward to in FFXIV Heavensward
Being a old WoW player, I remember the horrible times I had getting to level 58 to do my first higher level content dungeon in The Burning Crusade to only have it ruined by a player who either bought a account from some ffxiv gil farmer service that had a lowly minimum level 55 character
I just went to do T9 for the first time via FFXIV Duty Finder
So I just went to do T9 for the first time via FFXIV DF. I had checked out a video beforehand, but it was so much to remember that I knew it would have to be learned bit by bit as there was no way to remember every mechanic from every phase in one go
I also have no idea if this is the final build for Au'Ra ffxiv character models
I also have no idea if this is the Final Fantasy XIV build for Au'Ra character models and/or if they are gonna get ffxiv gil revamped slightly.
Final Fantasy XIV - Waste your time farming Poetics with your bard BUT there are other ways
By now you're easily level 52/55, depending how many times you ran the regular 50 dungeons and how much rested exp you started with etc.