How much has the cost of housing gone up over the last few decades? There are several different ways of measuring this, but here are five:
- The CPI for shelter since 1990, deflated by the overall CPI. This measure accounts for both housing prices and rentals.
- The Case-Shiller index since 1990. This is a national index of home prices only, not apartment rentals.
- HUD’s affordability index for both homeownership and renting.
- The 10-City Case-Shiller index since 1990. This provides an idea of how much housing costs have gone up in our largest cities.
- An interpolated estimate from StreetEasy and Miller Samuel of average rents in Manhattan since 1992.
Note that I’ve removed the period from about 2000 through 2013 in some of the charts. There’s a lot of spikiness during that period thanks to the housing bubble, but in the end housing prices were only a little bit higher. Getting rid of this noise makes the long-term trends a little easier to see.