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What the average home price today could have bought over the past 50 years

GOBankingRates Logo By Joel Anderson of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 57: The fact that the cost of an average home has skyrocketed over the years is hardly news to anyone, particularly if you’re old enough to have actually purchased a home in previous decades. However, what’s sometimes not as clear is just how much of that change is due to the natural creep of inflation — everything costs more now than it did in years past, after all — and how much is a sign of home prices increasing relative to everything else. With the shifting value of currency, the dynamic behavior of the housing market and the constant changes in the size and style of houses, the real causes of why it costs so much more to buy a home nowadays can be hard to suss out.
To offer more perspective, GOBankingRates conducted a study that focused on the size of the home you could buy in the past — dating as far back as 1963 — with the median home price of today, or about $315,086. The study pulled the median price of a home for each given year from the U.S. Census Bureau and combined it with U.S. Housing and Urban Development data to estimate the price per square foot in past housing markets. This allows you to see just how much house you could have purchased in the year you were born.
Last updated: Oct 4, 2019

What the average home price today could have bought over the past 50 years

The fact that the cost of an average home has skyrocketed over the years is hardly news to anyone, particularly if you’re old enough to have actually purchased a home in previous decades. However, what’s sometimes not as clear is just how much of that change is due to the natural creep of inflation — everything costs more now than it did in years past, after all — and how much is a sign of home prices increasing relative to everything else. With the shifting value of currency, the dynamic behavior of the housing market and the constant changes in the size and style of houses, the real causes of why it costs so much more to buy a home nowadays can be hard to suss out.

To offer more perspective, GOBankingRates conducted a study that focused on the size of the home you could buy in the past — dating as far back as 1963 — with the median home price of today, or about $315,086. The study pulled the median price of a home for each given year from the U.S. Census Bureau and combined it with U.S. Housing and Urban Development data to estimate the price per square foot in past housing markets. This allows you to see just how much house you could have purchased in the year you were born. Click or swipe through to see the full list.

Last updated: Oct 4, 2019

© JulieanneBirch / Getty Images
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