REAL ESTATE HAS A VAST HISTORY IN AMERICA
It’s easy to take real estate for granted – new houses get built, old houses get bought and sold, and families come and go. So if I were to ask you about the history of real estate in the United States, you may give me a confused reaction.
After all, houses, and real estate, were always around, right? It’s difficult to imagine a time when we didn’t live in our own homes. But when you place it in that context, the history of real estate is really about the history of people!
THE 20TH CENTURY WAS ALL ABOUT REAL ESTATE
Real estate was created, then took off and became a billion dollar industry all in the span of the 20th century.
I’ll present to you two important dates: the first, was 1908, when the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges (NAREE) was created. This was the first official real estate group in modern times, and would eventually become the National Association of REALTORS™ (NAR).
The NAREE had 120 founding members whose goal was to “unite the real estate men of America for the purpose of effectively exerting a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interest”.
Then, in 1913, it finally happened: the term REALTOR™ was invented.
THE FOUNDATION OF REAL ESTATE WAS SET AFTER THE GREAT DEPRESSION
The Great Depression of 1929 lead to a collapse of the housing market, something that was eerily familiar just a few years back. The market collapse lead to the founding of safeguards for home ownership, including the creation of Federal Housing Administration in 1934 and Fannie Mae in 1938.
So let’s fast forward to 1960, when new homes cost $12,700. The NAREE created the multiple listing system that we still use today (although in digital form). Then, Freddie Mac was put into place the next decade. This puts to the forefront the importance of mortgages and loans to make the dream of owning a home a reality for millions of Americans!
The next big advancement in real estate was caused by the internet. The first properties listed online were in 1994, and Al Gore even said himself that real estate listings were a big driver in the popularity of the internet.
The next age of search happened when Zillow and Trulia were launched in 2007, right before the housing crash.
GEORGIA REAL ESTATE
On the local front, the Georgia General Assembly created the real estate license law back in 1926, and created a real estate exam in 1932. The 1960s were a particular time of growth in Georgia, as the number of licensed agents doubled from 7,000 to 14,000 in the decade.
This lead to the creation of a state Real Estate Commissioner, and a new license law in 1973, whose rules are still enforced today.