It was a bloody and tragic morning on June 6, 1944, where brave boys in all kinds of uniforms were thrown into the meat grinder and the course of the world war took a dramatic turn.
There is little that we at HousingWire can write about the invasion of western Europe that hasn’t been said before over the past seven decades, but we take time out to honor all the men who fell that day, as well as those who survived and kept up the valiant fight for another almost 11 months.
Those G.I.s who returned from the war were, appropriately, rewarded with several programs including housing programs, which kick-started the American housing boom and the explosion of the American suburbs.
While there isn’t a lot of hard data on the housing market on June 6, 1944, HousingWire contacted a number of data firms and trade associations, trying to gather a rough consensus of what housing looked like that June day in 1944. (Thank you to Trulia, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors, and others that helped.)
The median price for a single-family home in mid-1944 was about $3,000.
Unverified data suggests the approximate rate for a 30-year mortgage was 5.5% on June 6, 1944 or thereabout.
Of course, no data can take into account the extraordinary stresses caused by the war-time economy and how the workforce was impacted by hundreds of thousands of working age men drafted into service.
When those soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors returned after the war, they altered the housing landscape.
Growing demand for single-family homes and the widespread growth of auto ownership helped families migrate out of the cities into the suburbs.
Air conditioning changed migration towards the sand states and the Sun Belt – cities like Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, and Las Vegas flourished with a wave of new housing construction.
Not for nothing, a note from Florida attorney general Pam Bondi whose uncle took part in the D-Day invasion, and who died fighting there, touched HousingWire.
"My Mom still remembers. My Uncle Raymond was only 18 years old when he hit the beaches of Normandy, knowing only that a big battle lay ahead. And on that day, Raymond became my hero,” Bondi write. “He was critically injured as American troops stormed the beaches there; a few days later, in a makeshift hospital, he died. Mom still remembers being a little girl and seeing the military officers in uniform knocking on the door to tell my grandmother her 18-year-old son was killed. My grandmother fell to the floor.
“For every American, D-Day is a symbol of American resolve and courage, that we’re willing to offer our lives to secure the liberty and freedom of others. But personally, every time I hug a veteran, I think of Uncle Raymond. He will always be remembered, and he will always be loved."