The Median Home Value Is Nearly 70 Times Higher Than In 1940

June 26, 2017

Back in 1940, a little less than three grand could buy a house. Now that can be roughly one month’s rent in a big trendy city.

CNBC tracked the U.S. median home value over the years. It went from $2,938 in 1940 to $17,000 in 1970, to $119,600 in 2000. It is currently $199,200.

Even with inflation, homes are considerably more expensive in 2017. In 1940, $2,938 had the same amount of buying power as $51,728 does today. Also, $17,000 in 1970 translates to $110,065 in 2017. Rising prices have pushed back homeownership for many Americans: The typical homebuyer is 44 in 2017, while in 1981, it was between 25 and 35 years old.

In 2016, home prices rose twice as fast as inflation. And in nearly two-thirds of the country, housing price growth exceeded wage growth. While homes in some towns remained affordable, in places like Manhattan and San Francisco buyers would need to fork over between 95 and 120 percent of their average paycheck to afford a mortgage payment.

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