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This was the average US home price from the ’40s through the ’80s – How much did one cost in the decade you were born? – New York Post

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The cost of American homes has skyrocketed over the years due to inflation, and you may be amazed at just how much the market has changed over the past 80 years.

See the major ups and downs of the market by looking at the average cost of homes going all the way back to 1940.


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Prices have fluctuated over time and the historical Census and Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) have meticulously documented the ebb and flow of the housing market.

Read on to see the average cost of homes in the decade you were born — and then stay tuned for more like this.

1940

In 1940, without adjusting for inflation, the average cost of a home in the United States was $2,938, according to the United States Census Bureau.

The inflation-adjusted price in 2024 dollars would make that $64,372.84.

When compared to 1940, today’s prices are 21.91 times as high as the average price 80 years ago.


The average home price in the United States is almost 22 times more expensive than in the 1940s. Getty Images/iStockphoto

1950

In the span of 10 years, from 1940 to 1950, the average cost of a home jumped to $7,354, according to Census data.

That equals $93,602.08 today as adjusted for inflation, FRED reports.

Housing prices in 2024 have increased 12.73 times since 1950. 

1960

The average cost of a home jumped significantly in the early years, with the cost of homes finally surpassing $10,000.

In 1960, homes cost $11,900 or $123,320.18 when adjusted for inflation, the Census documented.

Once 1963 arrived, the average cost of a home hit $19,300, which equates to $193,470.52 in 2024.

By the end of the decade, houses were costing Americans $27,000, which is $213,457.27 adjusted for 2024 inflation, according to FRED.

1970

The ’70s showed an overall increase of nearly $50,000 from the beginning of the decade to the end, per FRED calculations.

Between 1970 and 1975, the average cost of a home jumped from $27,000 to $40,900 — which would be $213,457.27 and $233,195.38 in 2024, respectively.

The largest jump occurred at the end of the decade as prices reached $74,200 in 1979, or $313,506.24 in today’s inflation-adjusted dollars.

By the end of the decade, the average cost of a home in the U.S. was $72,200 or $305,055.94 with inflation adjustments in 2024.

1980

One of the biggest surges in home prices occurred in the 1980s, in terms of the numbers at the start of the decade compared to the numbers in the transition to the ’90s.

Over the course of 10 years, from the start of the decade to the end of it, the average cost of a home jumped from $73,600 to $151,200. 

A house priced at $73,600 would cost $273,986.72 in 2024 — while dwellings listed for $151,200 would be $374,032.22 in 2024 due to inflation, FRED reports.

The largest hike occurred between 1984 and 1988, with average home prices increasing by more than $40,000.

Stay tuned for part two of this two-part series that will end in the 21st century and highlight one of the largest jumps in the history of the housing market.

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