How much more expensive homes are since 1965

If homes seem more expensive than ever, it’s because they are — even after adjusting for inflation.

U.S. homebuyers are spending more than double to buy a home now than they were in 1965, when the median home price was $20,200, according to U.S. Census data

In 2024 dollars, that works out to roughly $202,215, which is less than half of the $420,800 that a home costs today, per U.S. Census data.

Here’s how much the median home value in the U.S. has changed between 1965 and 2024:

  • 1965: $20,200
  • 1975: $38,100
  • 1985: $82,800
  • 1995: $130,000
  • 2005: $232,500
  • 2015: $289,200
  • 2024: $420,800

Here are those values again, adjusted for inflation, in 2024 dollars:

  • 1965: $202,215
  • 1975: $228,404
  • 1985: $245,129
  • 1995: $270,147
  • 2005: $380,793
  • 2015: $386,494
  • 2024: $420,800

In 1965, the median annual household income was $6,900, per U.S Census data. With homes selling for a median price of $20,200, a median earner would spend just under three times their income on a home.

In 2024, the median annual household income is estimated to be $78,171, according to data consulting firm Motio Research. That means that a typical homebuyer is spending 5.3 times their income on a home at today’s median price.

The ramp up in home prices has been particularly stark since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, with prices increasing 30% since March 2020.

Consequently, even affording a down payment for a home can be a challenge for potential buyers with limited savings, especially those who are younger or saddled with student loan debt — or both.

Increasingly, only the wealthiest Americans can afford to own a home. To afford a median-priced home with a 20% payment in 2024, a buyer needs to earn a median income of $100,000 or more in all but 14 states, according to a recent Bankrate analysis.

It’s perhaps not surprising the median age of first-time homebuyers has crept up in recent years to 35, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. In 2010, the median age of first-time buyers was 30.

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