As part of our move to the Florida Free State, I had Everpresent scan a photo album that my mom made in 1966 (she didn’t use acid-free paper so there was no practical way to preserve it other than scanning).
Here’s the air-conditioned brand-new house that my parents purchased in Bowie, Maryland (my father was working as an economist for Census Bureau): $15,990 with $590 down and $112/month ongoing. (Deal was arranged in 1961, but the house was completed and they moved in 1962. It might have been the Cape Cod, actually, which was slightly cheaper.)
Zillow says that the median price of a single family home today in Bowie is about $500,000.
How does that compare to official inflation? $15,990 in June 1962 is worth about $145,000 today says the BLS. So a house is more than 3X as expensive in real dollars, despite the fact that the above (air-conditioned!) house was brand new. (Would $15,990 in today’s Bidie Bucks even pay for a central air-conditioning system (installed)?)
- “Accelerating Inflation Spreads Through the Economy” (WSJ, 10/13)