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What the Average Home Price Today Could Buy the Year You Were Born

GOBankingRates
GOBankingRates
 2021-09-16

The fact that the cost of an average home has skyrocketed over the years is hardly news to anyone, particularly if you're old enough to have actually purchased a home in previous decades. However, what's sometimes not as clear is just how much of that change is due to the natural creep of inflation — everything costs more now than it did in years past, after all — and how much is a sign of home prices increasing relative to everything else. With the shifting value of currency, the dynamic behavior of the housing market and the constant changes in the size and style of houses, the real causes of why it costs so much more to buy a home nowadays can be hard to suss out.

Learn: 40 Cities That Could Be Poised For a Housing Crisis
Discover: The Cost To Own a 3-Bedroom Home in Every State

To offer more perspective, GOBankingRates conducted a study that focused on the size of the home you could buy in the past — dating as far back as 1963 — with the median home price of today, or about $324,300. The study pulled the median price of a home for each given year from the U.S. Census Bureau and combined it with U.S. Housing and Urban Development data to estimate the price per square foot in past housing markets.

Keep reading to discover what you could have purchased in the year you were born -- especially as compared to the exorbitant prices of today.

Last updated: Sept. 16, 2021

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1963

  • Median home price: $18,000
  • Median square footage: 1,365
  • Price per square foot: $13.19
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 24,587

Find Out: 17 Dumb Home-Buying Mistakes That Hurt Your Wallet

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1964

  • Median home price: $18,900
  • Median square footage: 1,415
  • Price per square foot: $13.36
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 24,274

Read: Homes Won’t Be Affordable in These Cities Within 10 Years

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1965

  • Median home price: $20,000
  • Median square footage: 1,495
  • Price per square foot: $13.38
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 24,238

Don’t Miss: 25 Tricks To Sell Your House for a Bigger Profit

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1966

  • Median home price: $21,400
  • Median square footage: 1,525
  • Price per square foot: $14.03
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 23,115
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1967

  • Median home price: $22,700
  • Median square footage: 1,570
  • Price per square foot: $14.46
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 22,365

Related: 50 Housing Markets That Are Turning Ugly

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1968

  • Median home price: $24,700
  • Median square footage: 1,605
  • Price per square foot: $15.39
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 21,072
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1969

  • Median home price: $25,600
  • Median square footage: 1,585
  • Price per square foot: $16.15
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 20,080
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1970

  • Median home price: $23,400
  • Median square footage: 1,385
  • Price per square foot: $16.90
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 19,189
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1971

  • Median home price: $25,200
  • Median square footage: 1,375
  • Price per square foot: $18.33
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 17,692
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1972

  • Median home price: $27,600
  • Median square footage: 1,405
  • Price per square foot: $19.64
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 16,512
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1973

  • Median home price: $32,500
  • Median square footage: 1,525
  • Price per square foot: $21.31
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 15,218
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1974

  • Median home price: $35,900
  • Median square footage: 1,560
  • Price per square foot: $23.01
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 14,093

Steals: Houses in These 29 Cities Are Suddenly Major Bargains

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1975

  • Median home price: $39,300
  • Median square footage: 1,535
  • Price per square foot: $25.60
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 12,668
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1976

  • Median home price: $44,200
  • Median square footage: 1,590
  • Price per square foot: $27.80
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 11,665
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1977

  • Median home price: $48,800
  • Median square footage: 1,610
  • Price per square foot: $30.31
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 10,699
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1978

  • Median home price: $55,700
  • Median square footage: 1,655
  • Price per square foot: $33.66
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 9,635
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1979

  • Median home price: $62,900
  • Median square footage: 1,645
  • Price per square foot: $38.24
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 8,481
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1980

  • Median home price: $64,600
  • Median square footage: 1,595
  • Price per square foot: $40.50
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 8,007
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1981

  • Median home price: $68,900
  • Median square footage: 1,550
  • Price per square foot: $44.45
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 7,296
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1982

  • Median home price: $69,300
  • Median square footage: 1,520
  • Price per square foot: $45.59
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 7,113
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1983

  • Median home price: $75,300
  • Median square footage: 1,565
  • Price per square foot: $48.12
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 6,739
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1984

  • Median home price: $79,900
  • Median square footage: 1,605
  • Price per square foot: $49.78
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 6,515
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1985

  • Median home price: $84,300
  • Median square footage: 1,605
  • Price per square foot: $52.52
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 6,175

Check Out: 50 Places Where Home Prices Are Rising Faster Than Rent

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1986

  • Median home price: $92,000
  • Median square footage: 1,660
  • Price per square foot: $55.42
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 5,852
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1987

  • Median home price: $104,500
  • Median square footage: 1,755
  • Price per square foot: $59.54
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 5,447
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1988

  • Median home price: $112,500
  • Median square footage: 1,810
  • Price per square foot: $62.15
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 5,218
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1989

  • Median home price: $120,000
  • Median square footage: 1,850
  • Price per square foot: $64.86
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 5,000
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1990

  • Median home price: $122,900
  • Median square footage: 1,905
  • Price per square foot: $64.51
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 5,027
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1991

  • Median home price: $120,000
  • Median square footage: 1,890
  • Price per square foot: $63.49
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 5,108
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1992

  • Median home price: $121,500
  • Median square footage: 1,920
  • Price per square foot: $63.28
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 5,125
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1993

  • Median home price: $126,500
  • Median square footage: 1,945
  • Price per square foot: $65.04
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 4,986
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1994

  • Median home price: $130,000
  • Median square footage: 1,940
  • Price per square foot: $67.01
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 4,840

Find Out: The Most Affordable Places To Retire in the US

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1995

  • Median home price: $133,900
  • Median square footage: 1,920
  • Price per square foot: $69.74
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 4,650
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1996

  • Median home price: $140,000
  • Median square footage: 1,950
  • Price per square foot: $71.79
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 4,517
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1997

  • Median home price: $146,000
  • Median square footage: 1,975
  • Price per square foot: $73.92
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 4,387
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1998

  • Median home price: $152,500
  • Median square footage: 2,000
  • Price per square foot: $76.25
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 4,253
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1999

  • Median home price: $161,000
  • Median square footage: 2,028
  • Price per square foot: $79.39
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 4,085
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2000

  • Median home price: $169,000
  • Median square footage: 2,057
  • Price per square foot: $82.16
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,947
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2001

  • Median home price: $175,200
  • Median square footage: 2,103
  • Price per square foot: $83.31
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,893
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2002

  • Median home price: $187,600
  • Median square footage: 2,114
  • Price per square foot: $88.74
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,654
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2003

  • Median home price: $195,000
  • Median square footage: 2,137
  • Price per square foot: $91.25
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,554
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2004

  • Median home price: $221,000
  • Median square footage: 2,140
  • Price per square foot: $103.27
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,140

Take a Look: 10 Effects of Inflation — and How To Protect Your Money Now

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2005

  • Median home price: $240,900
  • Median square footage: 2,227
  • Price per square foot: $108.17
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,998
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2006

  • Median home price: $246,500
  • Median square footage: 2,248
  • Price per square foot: $109.65
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,958
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2007

  • Median home price: $247,900
  • Median square footage: 2,277
  • Price per square foot: $108.87
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,979
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2008

  • Median home price: $232,100
  • Median square footage: 2,215
  • Price per square foot: $104.79
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,095
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2009

  • Median home price: $216,700
  • Median square footage: 2,135
  • Price per square foot: $101.50
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,195
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2010

  • Median home price: $221,800
  • Median square footage: 2,169
  • Price per square foot: $102.26
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,171
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2011

  • Median home price: $227,200
  • Median square footage: 2,233
  • Price per square foot: $101.75
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,187
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2012

  • Median home price: $245,200
  • Median square footage: 2,306
  • Price per square foot: $106.33
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 3,050

Read: The Most and Least Affordable States for Millennials To Buy Homes in

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2013

  • Median home price: $268,900
  • Median square footage: 2,384
  • Price per square foot: $112.79
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,875
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2014

  • Median home price: $288,500
  • Median square footage: 2,453
  • Price per square foot: $117.61
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,757
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2015

  • Median home price: $294,200
  • Median square footage: 2,467
  • Price per square foot: $119.25
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,719
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2016

  • Median home price: $307,800
  • Median square footage: 2,422
  • Price per square foot: $127.09
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,552
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2017

  • Median home price: $323,100
  • Median square footage: 2,426
  • Price per square foot: $133.18
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,435
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2018

  • Median home price: $326,400
  • Median square footage: 2,386
  • Price per square foot: $136.80
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,371
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2019

  • Median home price: $321,500
  • Median square footage: 2,322
  • Price per square foot: $138.46
  • Square footage you could buy for the price of a 2020 home: 2,342
More From GOBankingRates

      Erica Corbin contributed to the reporting of this article.

        Methodology: GOBankingRates determined what today's average home price could buy you, dating back to 1963, using in the following data points: (1) the average median home price per year from 1963-2020, found by taking the average of the monthly median prices of the year, sourced from the United States Census Bureau's new residential sales historical data (data only went as far back as January 1963); (2) median square footage of new residential homes, sourced from the United States Census Bureau's characteristics of new housing data from 1970 onward and the United States Housing and Urban Development's characteristics of new one-family homes for 1969 and before. These two factors were divided to get each year's (3) price per square foot, which was then divided by the 2020 median home sale price as sourced from the United States Census Bureau's new residential sales historical data, which in turn gave (4) the amount of square footage a 2020 home price could buy you for that year. All data was collected and up to date as of Oct. 7, 2020.

        This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com : What the Average Home Price Today Could Buy the Year You Were Born

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