Housing Data thought

All the disunion on Real Estate appreciation and Rent vs Buy caused me to ask does the data used by both the Real Estate Industry and the government data actually compare Apples to Oranges.

The physical house I grew up in was built in 1947 - 1,156 square feet. One bath, no garage (although my father built one in the back yard in 1951) and 2 bedrooms and a loft. The recent value listed in the tax records is actually close to what houses in the neighborhood/block sold for in the early 50s.

I have not seen 2 or 3 bedroom houses with 1,200 square feet any where - I am talking detached living units with grass.

As I understand things Real Estate values are sales and a 1200 square foot third floor unit in midtown Atlanta selling for X hundred thousand is entered into the data say just like my childhood home or my current Active Adult Community house where the association has swimming pools, tenis ball courts, a club house, walking paths, etc.

My wife’s childhood home over the period from 1960 to 2021 increased in value (as measured by sale price) at 8%. While this looks great, the value was in the 1 acre lot required for septic tanks in middle TN. Many houses in these Nashville nieighoods have sold as teardowns for multiple housing units or a single housing unit with at least double the square footage and triple the number of baths.


Lots of 2 bedroom one bath 1200 sf houses were built. The three Levittowns are exactly that. Until mid 60s they were common. And in Depression years they were fine for a family and affordable.

I lived in one built in 1927.

The big boxy Victorians were also popular back then for big families. Lots of space. Lots if bedrooms to fill but bigger pricetag. Not your typrcal everyman house.

Really? In the early 50s, the average house sold for about $7,500. So that’s what the tax rolls are listing the current value for that house? What do Zillow, Redfin and Realtor.com say the value is?

As new construction, or as resale houses? You probably won’t find any new construction because that’s not what new house buyers want, so it’s not profitable for builders to build them. But there are lots of used houses that size that are for sale all over the place. Here’s a 1233 sq ft 3BR 2BA on a 0.23 acre lot in a neighborhood of small homes that I used to live in: 4125 Rio Poco Rd, Reno, NV 89502 | realtor.com® that’s currently under contract.

I’m not sure what’s not ‘great’ about an 8% appreciation rate, even if the house ends up being torn down. Houses don’t last forever, and a property that has a 75+ year old house may very well be best utilized as a tear down. Given the population growth during that timeframe, it’s often not the best use of the property to maintain a single 75+ year old home on a full acre.



In Georgia, pretty much anything just north of Atlanta, all those 1 to 5 acre lots with a ramshackle house on it have been sold to developers who build 4 to 40 “McMansions” on the lot. The problem is that the zoning didn’t properly account for the roads. When you have a one lane road with 20 ramshackle houses along it, it can handle the morning and evening traffic easily. But once that one lane road needs to support 100 to 500 houses, and feed into another one lane road that feeds into a 2 lane road, that eventually reaches the highway, you end up with massive traffic jams every morning and evening. It’s insane in many areas, you pull out of your driveway into traffic, then wait 3, 4, 5 cycles of the traffic light at the end of your street. Then you turn (or go straight), more traffic, wait another 3, 4, 5 cycles of the next traffic light, then you turn (or go straight) and more traffic, etc. Then you finally get to the highway (285, 85, 75, etc) and merge into even more traffic. Could take 30+ minutes just to get from your home and cover the 2 to 5 miles to the beginning of your commute on the highway.


Yeah, I’ve seen those issues, too. Seems like whatever entity is controlling the zoning (county, city, town, etc.) needs to figure out a way to get the developers to either pay for or do road upgrades as a prerequisite to granting all of those new building permits, and then require that those upgrades be at least started before the Certificates of Occupancy for those new houses are issued. I have seen the city of Kirkland WA require a developer to use a part of the property they were developing to widen the road to accommodate a turn lane because of similar traffic concerns brought up by neighbors. But it didn’t happen until neighbors went to the initial zoning request hearing with their concerns about the new development. So, it can be done, as long as the community who will be impacted gets involved.


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