5455664986 6499187c58 300x199 57 Cents   Then and NowWarning – here comes a little walk down memory lane!  When I started my career in real estate 36 years ago, many things were different.  Mortgage interest rates were soaring (up near 20%, vs. around 5% today), and the price for a gallon of gas was 57 cents.  That may barely buy a postage stamp today, but I can assure you, it was high at the time.  Additionally, in the mid-70s and again in 1979, fuel rationing meant that lines at the gas pump could stretch for miles and last hours.  I know some people reading this will remember how license plates digits even dictated which day you could purchase gas (were you an even or an odd?), and the government printed rationing coupons as a precaution.

Flash forward to today: I’m meeting with the fantastic team from Coldwell Banker DeWetter Hovious in El Paso, Texas, and the average price of gas here is around $3.80 – and many people are talking about fuel costs hitting and surpassing the $4 mark for the summer travel season.  What a difference 36 years makes!

Despite the factors which have changed, gas prices are still on the minds of many Americans today, so we decided to survey our network of real estate professionals to see how fuel costs are influencing where people want to live.  The full data is here.  My main takeaways: people are looking for shorter commutes (which in some cases, is driving interest in urban areas).  And in other cases, people are cutting out their commute altogether, causing an increased demand in listings with home offices today vs. five years ago.  Fuel prices and commuting time are just one of many considerations to take into account if you’re thinking about buying a home today, and a trusted real estate professional can guide you through this process to determine if owning a home is a fit for your own personal lifestyle needs.

How are fuel prices affecting (or not affecting) your local real estate market?  As always, I’d love to see your comment!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user LifeSupercharger