Advert showing 1950s house prices stuns internet: ‘Had it easy back then’


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

In a week where data showed housing affordability in the U.S. at a 15-year low, with mortgage payments higher than rent in 45 of America’s 50 largest metropolitan regions, a tweet by glory_manz has further highlighted the difficulties facing homebuyers today.

Captioned: “They really had it easy back then”, the newspaper advert featured in the tweet centers around a development at Westwood Lake, Southwest Miami, Florida, where, according to the copy, “more than 600 homes” were “built and sold” in the space of seven months.

The advert, created by real estate and land investment firm The Mackle Company, goes on to list two-bedroom properties at $7,450 or for monthly payments of $47.92. Three-bedroom properties, meanwhile, are priced at $7,900 or $49.74.

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

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

Using the online US Inflation Calculator tool, it’s 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 financial advice website GoBankingRates found the average cost of a three-bedroom Home in the state of Florida to be around $367,190 with the 20 percent down payment averaging at $73,438.

Little wonder then that the tweet drew such a vociferous response, with many lamenting the current state of the property market in the U.S. GrapeSodaPapi commented: “That’s disgustingly cheap by today’s standards” while KPrincess2905 said she felt “sick.”

Elsewhere _nineteen91 wrote: “The average salary in Miami in 1955 was $3,400 and NEW homes could be bought for under 8k. Now the average salary is around 65K and USED homes like this cost over 500k which need extensive repairs. If you can’t see what’s wrong with this picture then you are part of the problem.”

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

CarolynAmor wasn’t buying that argument though, replying: “Okay, for a second let’s pretend everyone moves to Iowa to purchase an affordable house. You know what’ll happen? In a few years (or even less), prices will skyrocket like everywhere else and we’ll be in the same predicament all over again.”

Malizzel_421, meanwhile, 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: “Wages have not increased enough since then to negate the statement that they had it easy.”

Richie_Berryll also commented: “I can barely afford an Apartment. And they literally got a whole house in Miami for cheaper than my rent!” while the peachpantheress lamented that back them: “you could really just move out at 18 if you wanted to. just find a regular job, work full time (regardless of what it was) and be able to move out.”

Newsweek has contacted The Mackle Company for comment.

Stock image of a 1950s house – an advert highlight property prices in Miami in the 1950s has gone viral on Twitter.
George Marks/Getty



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