$1 Buys the Most Space In…

Every housing market is unique—in one area, your budget can equal lots of space, and in another, it can mean no spare square footage.

Nationwide, the ratio has shrunk, according to an analysis newly released by Zillow. Twenty years ago, $ 1 bought 2.09 square inches; in 2008, it bought 1.23 square inches. Today, $ 1 buys 1.07 square inches—about two times the size of a stamp.

Credit: Zillow

Credit: Zillow

“A dollar today isn’t what it used to be, particularly when it comes to real estate in light of the rapid pace of home value appreciation that the American economy has witnessed over the past half-decade,” says Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow.

Nationally, prices are up 8 percent year-over-year, reports the Zillow Home Value Index.

Where does a dollar go furthest? In Memphis, where $ 1 buys 2.5 square inches. By comparison, a dollar hardly stretches at all in San Francisco, where it buys 0.14 square inches.

Credit: Zillow

Credit: Zillow

“A dollar gets you about 20 times more space in an affordable market like Memphis than in a pricey place like San Francisco,” Terrazas says. “Figuring out exactly how much space a dollar does—or doesn’t—buy you can be sobering, but enlightening. The space we live in is a tangible thing, with real value, and this shows how true that is.”

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

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