Today’s housing market is the clearest example of generational theft. In 1950, the median home price was $7,354. Adjusted for inflation, that’s just about $78k, which would easily be affordable for any working family in the U.S.

But, of course, housing prices aren’t anywhere near $78k. Today’s average home price is closer to $236k, outpacing inflation by a factor of 3.

Now, there are many reasons for this. But the one I’d like to focus on is the blatant market manipulation by the Baby Boomer generation. In major cities across America, boomers are opposing housing developments that would make affordable living possible for many young families. This problem has reached crisis-level in states like California where property taxes are capped, diluting the incentive for cities to build new housing. On top of this, zoning laws prevent structures taller than 40ft in many key areas, preventing the development of lower-cost high-rises.

All of this is done to protect real estate prices for those that bought into the market early on. In other words, the generations that came before us are now rigging the market to ensure that wealth remains in their hands. This is the same generation that then criticizes millennials for their low rates of homeownership.

For us in the millennial generation and onward, pursuing homeownership is akin to voluntarily opening our wallets for the thieves among us.
8d ago
4 Comments
Levee
Talented. I think.
@JordanWords And that’s why I’ll never own a house
8d ago

Lightdriven
Engineer
@JordanWords Great analysis. Like you said, though, there are many reasons for the high prices compared to the 1950s. Another big factor is size. Back then, the average home was 1,000 sq ft, with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. Today’s average home is nearly twice the size. All the while, the size of the typical household has gone down from 3.37 members to 2.5.

I say we stop building large homes and find creative ways to live in more compact spaces.
8d ago

DailyAaron
Let’s learn about fun
@Lightdriven Negative, ghost rider.
8d ago

DailyAaron
Let’s learn about fun
@JordanWords Interesting analysis, indeed. Not only is it the square footage that has doubled, the necessities of certain amenities has drastically changed. The idea of not having a state of the art kitchen, or enough room to put your 75 inch TV or having enough yard space to put up a whole playground has made it impossible to keep the price down. Not like it’s gonna to stop anyone from getting themselves into debt anyway.
8d ago

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