Housing trends: Then and Now

When the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association first formed in 1972 housing trends were very different than they are now. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular versions of 70’s housing trends compared to today!

Housing Prices
In 1970 the median home price was only $17,000 ($112,941 adjusted for today) with a median income of $9,870! The median home price in 2021 was $374,900 and continues to increase with lack of housing supply and increasing prices.

Photo Submitted By: Dick & Arla Prestin

Interior Trends
The 1970’s were all about patterned linoleum floors, dark wood paneling, and shag carpeting in bright colors. Many homes also featured statement stone fireplaces made of rough rocks taking up the entire wall, geometric patterned wallpaper, and exposed brick. Another trend very specific to the 1970’s was the sunk-in living room (conversation pits). These also typically featured built-in lounge furniture.

Current design trends lean more towards light, bright features with accents of dark. Luxury vinyl tile floors, light walls, and feature walls can be found in most new homes. In contrast from the 1970’s, we now see minimal carpeting and the fireplaces showcase clean and simple lines. Homeowners today often opt for neutral paint colors such as gray or white, open-concept layouts, and large windows for a lot of natural light.

Photo Submitted By: Dick & Arla Prestin

Exterior Trends
The 1970’s was the decade of transition. The modernism of the previous decades was on the way out and new and exciting trends were coming to the forefront. There was an attitude of ‘anything goes’ in this decade.
In 1972 the average house boasted just 1,550 square feet. Ranch style homes were the most popular with 60% of new homes being built in this style. Split level homes were a popular way to add more space without spreading out too much. Steeply angled roofs in multiple directions are one of the most recognizable features of a ’70s built home.
Paint colors leaned towards earth tones with lots of stone features. Concrete patio slabs in the backyard were the place for the family to spend time outdoors.

We are all about calming colors and farmhouse styles in today’s trends. Gray has taken over beige for the neutral color of choice and white everything is making a comeback.
The average home in 2021 was 2,300 square feet and the ranch house is still the most popular style.
Contrasting colors are another popular exterior trend today. White siding with black trims or darker siding with white trim can be found in newer homes and developments. Backyards have become an extension of the living space and often feature large patio doors and outdoor living spaces that extend the indoors to the outdoors.

Stay up to date on the current trends by working with one of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association (CVHBA) members! From home renovations to interior design and staging, CVHBA members can take your vision and make it a reality. Contact the CVHBA today to be put in touch with a member.

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