“I had it easy back then”

The rising cost of buying a home in America has been further emphasized in an advertisement unearthed from the 1950s showing the comparatively low prices of property in that period.

In a week when data showed US housing affordability was at its lowest level in 15 years, with mortgage payments higher than rent in 45 of the 50 largest metropolitan regions in United States, a tweet from glory_manz further highlighted the difficulties facing homebuyers today.

Captioned: “They really had it easy back then,” the newspaper ad featured in the tweet focuses on a development in Westwood Lake, southwest of Miami, Florida, where, according to the copy, “over 600 homes were built and sold houses”. “In the space of seven months.

The ad, created by real estate and land investment firm The Mackle Company, lists two-bedroom properties for $7,450 or for monthly payments of $47.92. Meanwhile, three-bedroom properties are priced at $7,900 or $49.74.

At the time of this writing, the post had been retweeted over 10,000 times and liked another 59,000 times.

According to the Mackle Company website, Westwood Lakes was “by far their largest project in Miami” and opened on December 5, 1954.

Using the US Inflation Calculator online tool, it is estimated that, when adjusted for inflation, the $7,900 three-bedroom property in Miami would have cost $85,841.58 in today’s money.

Earlier this year, a study by the financial advice website GoBankingRates found that the median cost of a three-bedroom home in the state of Florida was around $367,190 with a down payment of 20 percent of an average $73,438.

It’s no wonder then that the tweet generated such a vociferous response, with many lamenting the current state of the US real estate market. GrapeSodaPapi commented, “That’s disgustingly cheap by today’s standards,” while KPrincess2905 said she felt “ill”.

Elsewhere, _nineteen91 wrote: “The average salary in Miami in 1955 was $3400 and you could buy NEW houses for less than 8k. Now the average salary is around 65K and USED houses like this are over 500k and need extensive repairs. If you can’t see what’s wrong with this picture? Then you’re part of the problem.”

Some disagreed. ChillNRelaxed commented, “More population, more demand. We’re talking limited supply in high demand areas. You can’t make more land like you can with cornflakes. Iowa has a lot of nice houses and land available for 150k or less.” .

Carolyn Amor, however, didn’t buy that argument, replying, “Okay, for a second let’s imagine everyone moving to Iowa to buy an affordable home. You know what’s going to happen? In a few years (or even less), prices will go up.” They will shoot like anywhere else and we will be in the same situation again.”

Meanwhile, Malizzel_421 said: “My great-grandparents bought a house in East LA for 6k in the fifties that is now worth almost 900k. Make it make sense.” RespectedShootr added: “Salaries haven’t increased enough since then to negate the claim that they had it easy.”

Richie_Berryll also commented, “I can barely afford an apartment. And they literally got an entire house in Miami for less than my rent!” while the peach panther lamented that he backed them: “You could really move at 18 if you wanted to. Just find a regular job, work full time (regardless of what that is) and be able to move.”

news week has contacted The Mackle Company for comment.

A photo of a house from the 50's.
Stock Image of a 1950s House: An ad highlighting Miami property prices in the 1950s has gone viral on Twitter.
George Marks/Getty

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