Trends help put things in perspective as today's house price is high or low compared to last yer or 10 years ago. The data isn't as easy to find as one might expect so I'll try adding it to this article as I find it online or elsewhere. It's not clear how to account for inflation as a dollar today is worth far less than 10 years ago, or even less than 1950. The People History illustrates inflation nicely explaining that if you had $100 in 1950, and converted it to equivalent dollars in 2005, you would need $835.41.
So what exactly am I looking for? Data to explore how the size and features of our homes are changing, i.e. from a house with no garage to today's expectation that a house should have a 2-car garage (3-car in many locations where there is no basement).
- Size of houses and if available, how much land they sit on.
- Number of features, i.e. # bedrooms, bathrooms, garages and more.
- Cost of houses and the corresponding income to afford to buy a house.
- Type and cost of utilities needed to support a house, i.e. electricity, gas, etc … and cost.
The People History offered the following information for the decade spanning the 1950s.
- In 1950 a new house cost $8,450. Just 10 years later, in 1959 grew to $12,400 representing an increase of 47%.
- The average American income in 1950 was $3,210, growing 56% to $5,010 by 1959.
- The cost of a gallon of gas grew from $0.18/gallon in 1950 to $0.25 in 1959, a jump of 39%.
Found this fascinating photo essay on the Evolution of Households, from 1950 to Today at Women's Day. Here are some incredible facts and figures regarding home trends in the US:
- Average home has grown from 983 sq ft in the 1950s, to 2349 sq ft in 2000s … bur surprisingly, we spend 41% of our time away from home.
- Home ownership grew from 53% in the 1960s, to 58% in the 1979s (no statistics for later years).
- TVs started out with 24% of households owning one in the 1950s, to 90% in the 1960s … and then switched to remote controls at 29% in the 1980s. Surprisingly, there was no mention of electronics?