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It’s a given that real estate values fluctuate constantly. Can you believe a new home in Brooklyn, New York, cost just $2,500 in 1853? It’s almost unfathomable to think of the homes we could have bought back in the day with today’s dollars!
Today, you’re looking at around a median price of $199,200 to buy a home in the U.S., according to Zillow. In coastal cities like San Francisco and New York, $200,000 might get you a garage, with a average house priced at more than $1 million.
Let’s take a step back in time and see what a house cost the decade you were born.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median home value in 1940 was a mere $2,938. In 1950, it crept up to $7,354. In 1960, it had risen to $11,900, then $17,000 in 1970. By 1980, the cost of buying a home had skyrocketed to $47,200, and things only got worse from there.
In 1990, the median home value was $79,100, and finally, in 2000, it had risen to $119,600. But what about when you factor in inflation—because this is all relative right?
Those median home values, when adjusted for year 2000 dollars, show just how much things have changed:
- 1940: $30,600
- 1950: $44,600
- 1960: $58,600
- 1970: $65,600
- 1980: $93,400
- 1990: $101,100
- 2000: $119,600
It’s no secret that prices rise over time, but the cold, hard reality we’re facing right now is that housing affordability is declining as home prices outpace inflation and income growth. Despite inflation and wage growth remaining stagnant, home prices continue to climb.