Boston's Real Estate Market: 1940-2000

Dated: July 25 2021

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Boston's Real Estate Market: 1940-2000

In 1940, the median home value in the U.S. was just $2,938. In 1980, it had risen to $47,200; and by 2000, it had increased to $119,600. Whether you're looking to buy a new home or sell your old one, it's important to know the current trends. Recently, there has been renewed interest in the US housing market and what people are saying.

What is the current US housing market?

One of the latest studies to take stock of the US housing market is from RealtyTrac, which states that the prices of the US homes have increased by 9.3% in 2016. Most notably, there has been a 5% increase in the median price of homes, as well as a 20% increase in home values, when compared to 2015. The property price changes between January 2016 and October 2016 are particularly impressive. What do the experts say? It’s also been well-documented that the US home prices are rising. Home values increased by 7% between December 2015 and October 2016. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), this is the most since April 2006. The NAR reports that homes sales rose last year, by 6%, to the highest level since the mid-2000s. However, the number of homes for sale fell by 15%.

Boston Real Estate Market

Last year, people in the area started talking about the market in Boston for the first time in a while. Unlike other cities, Boston prices have increased and interest in the area has increased as well. The value of a home was $381,100 in 2012, and it has increased to $585,000 in 2016. Home values were also up when compared to other cities. Currently, the overall Boston real estate market is on a hot streak. Last month, the median home price went up from $493,000 to $510,000, an increase of 4%. The number of pending sales also went up when compared to the same month last year. The total number of sales is up by 7.6% to 107.7. This increase is due to an increase in the number of homes on the market, something that used to be unheard of.

The 1940s

Fast forward to 1940. The Great Depression was still prevalent and home values were still on the rise. It was then that the yellow brick road led to urban apartment living for many Americans as they tried to make ends meet. The 1950s As the United States got stronger from the Great Depression, people started renting again. In the 1950s, apartment living was a common thing for Americans, and some of the first townhouse complexes were built. The 1960s Renters were still in the majority in the 1960s, but the house the neighborhood you live in began to cost more and more. Developers began to build new neighborhoods with homeownership in mind, with small single-family homes starting to become popular. The 1970s The 1970s brought big changes in the housing market.


This decade set the stage for the average home value. In 1950, the median home price in the U.S. was $11,450. In 1980, the median home value had climbed to $65,200. Today, the median home value sits at $220,400. 1960s In the 1960s, home values were increasing at a rapid pace. From 1950 to 1960, the median home value in the U.S. rose from $17,100 to $63,600. From 1960 to 1968, the median home value rose from $71,600 to $111,400. 1970s In the 1970s, the U.S. home market saw a shift. The median home value fell from $128,300 in 1975 to $92,400 in 1979. But by 1980, the home values had increased to a new record high of $147,500. 1980s Home values climbed at a steady rate during the 1980s. From 1980 to 1984, the median home value increased from $88,500 to $97,300.


In the 1960s, the median home value was around $7,000. People also lived in their houses a lot longer than we do now. In 1960, Americans lived in their house for 12 years. By 2000, that number had risen to 24 years. 1970s As the decade began, the median home value in the U.S. was $10,600. The average home stayed the same from 1970-1980. At the end of the decade, the median home value had risen to $16,500. 1980s By the 1980s, the average home stayed the same as it had been during the 1970s. The median home value in 1980 was $26,000. 1990s By 1990, the average home value was almost $30,000, according to statistics. The average American owned their home for 15 years by the mid-1990s. People were renting for less, but owning homes was still expensive.


"The Zoning Game" was in full swing. New buildings were built wherever they could. According to the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Foundation, "garden apartments were all the rage, high-rise condominiums were sprouting up everywhere, and townhouse units – which were perfect for young families – suddenly became a staple in a growing number of developments." 1980s "One of the biggest trends [at the time] was the 'Personalization Movement,'" The Boomerang Living Real Estate Blog explains. "This idea was simple, but powerful: Buy a new home and personalize it. Your own unique taste and personality should permeate everything you choose. So, save money and make smart choices at the real estate counter. You'll be amazed at the ways this simple strategy can benefit your bottom line.


Housing went through the largest boom in the housing market. Record high values were reached in the '80s, especially during the 1980s housing bubble. When the housing bubble burst in the late '90s, prices began to decline. 1990s By the late '90s, prices had hit a major low and are continuing to rise in the early 2000s. According to the Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home values, home values rose 41.3% during the first quarter of 2000, only to fall 7.4% in the fourth quarter of the same year. When the economic bubble burst in 2007, home prices across the country dropped precipitously. 2000s In 2007, prices began to rise and are expected to continue to rise. In fact, the Case-Shiller Index is expected to reach its high-water mark in the first quarter of 2008.


While home prices were pretty much leveled off during the 1980s, in the late 1990s, prices exploded upward for the first time since the Great Depression. New home construction increased in many parts of the country in part because of the promise of high home values. 2000s Home prices really hit the roof in the early 2000s when mortgage rates were near record lows. At the height of the housing bubble, prices had increased by 71% since 1990, reaching a median home value of $159,000. Some analysts had predicted that the mortgage market would reach $5 trillion worth of mortgage debt by 2008, according to CNN Money. There was widespread skepticism that such a high-octane market could be maintained.


The first decade of the millennium saw a remarkable increase in home prices across the nation. The 2000 U.S. housing bubble eventually led to a number of distress sales. Rising interest rates were the main catalyst for these home sales, as they shifted the market's priorities from owning to renting. But you can't deny that it was the economy, not the housing bubble, that triggered the end of the global recession in 2008. More: Where to Live for the Best Chance at Work-Life Balance 2010s "What we saw during the recession, which was the housing bubble and then the excesses that resulted from the financial crisis, we're seeing a correction," says Robert Brunner, a principal at Ammunition Group, a design firm based in Los Angeles. This correction has been drastic.

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