Professional Builder: 70 Years of Housing

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In our 70-year history series of articles, we've identified the major movements, report on what's happened in housing over the last 70 years, examin how PB reported on the industry, and recognized the events that have shaped where we are today.

January 01, 2007

 

 

 

Seventy years ago, Professional Builder debuted as Practical Builder. The average cost of a new home was $3,925, and there were only 30 million existing homes in the U.S. Today, home buyers pay an average cost of $295,100 for a new home and there are more than 120 million homes to choose from. It is not surprising that those 70 years have produced considerable changes in the housing industry. More improvements in products and processes have created a built landscape of American housing that defines our country. We are our neighborhoods.

It is surprising how little has changed, though. We still face many of the same problems builders in the 1930s and '40s faced: material scarcity, high peaks of activity followed by deep troughs of low demand, labor shortages, government intervention, consumer confidence, adoption of new technology, changing building practices and lifestyle trends. The issues the editors addressed in those first years are the same things we speak of today.

When Professional Builder editors began looking back over our history, we noticed each 10-year period seemed to have its own themes, a zeitgeist of the decade. In our 70-year history series of articles, we've identified those major movements, report on what's happened in housing over the last 70 years, examined how PB reported on the industry, and recognized the events that have shaped where we are today.

70th Anniversary Article Series

  • 1936-1945 Depression and War
  • 1946-1955 Driving Toward Profit
  • 1956-1965 Baby Boom
  • 1966-1975 A Revolution
  • 1976-1985 Low Energy
  • 1986-1995 Clearing the Fog
  • 1996-2006 The Big Boom

 

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