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Bast from the past: a comparison of housing from the last solar eclipse

(BROKERAGE NEWS) The solar eclipse is this weeks hot topic so we’re taking a look at how home prices have changed since the last eclipse in 1979.

Large house representing co-living.

Eclipse to eclipse

The National Association of Realtors looked at the difference in home prices between 1979 (the last solar eclipse) and today’s home prices. The difference? About a five-fold increase.

The 1979 median home price was just north of $55,700. Today’s average home price is $255,600.

The path of totality

The NAR also looked at average home prices in major metro markets along the “path of totality.” The most expensive real estate market in this pathway is Salem, OR. In Salem, the average home price is over $261,000.

It is the only market listed whose average beats the national number.

Other expensive markets include Nashville, TN ($248k) and Boise City, ID (227K). Columbia, SC holds the honor of cheapest real estate market, with a median home price of over $165k. It also holds the distinction of being the last major real estate market in the pathway.

The path of totality is notable because it represents the 70-mile-wide stretch of land running coast to coast where someone can view a total eclipse (vs the partial one that many people can see. This pathway of visibility is determined by the orbital alignment of Earth, the moon and the sun, as well as the Earth’s axis.


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From then to now

Here are some other real estate difference from the 1970’s until now:

  • In 1970s, the average home size was 1,500 square feet. In 2016, average home size was over 2,600 square feet.
  • A 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 7.44 percent. Last month, that same rate was 3.97 percent. Interest rates peaked in October, 1981 at 18.75 percent
  • According to real estate agent Elizabeth Weintraub, in the 1970’s, “my buyers never signed a purchase contract. Buyers were not involved. They signed an assignment of contract from me. I wrote all of the purchase contracts in my name or assignee. I decided the best way to purchase the property and when the offer was accepted by the seller, I presented it for consideration to the investor.


Written By

Born in Boston and raised in California, Connor arrived in Texas for college and was (lovingly) ensnared by southern hospitality and copious helpings of queso. As an SEO professional, he lives and breathes online marketing and its impact on businesses. His loves include disc-related sports, a pint of a top-notch craft beer, historical non-fiction novels, and Austin's live music scene.


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