Back in 2009-2010 I answered an ad in the paper for an old Singer sewing machine and found this amazing 1959 Singer 403a that was being sold by an elderly fellow who had purchased it in early 1960, the original owner was not able to afford what was a $350.00 machine and he picked it up for $275.00.
Since I did not have a car I rode across the city and brought the machine home with my bike and trailer… it was a 50km round trip.
It was also interesting that the fellow who sold me the machine had the same name as me and he had taken exemplary care of this machine ever since he bought it.
If we factor for inflation this machine would cost $2700.00 in 2015 and when you look at modern machines that could compare to this level of quality, you are still going to be paying several thousand dollars for a machine that was made in Asia, and not made in the United States.
So this got me to checking.
Back in 1959 you could have bought an average house for around $12,000 and an average car for $2200.00 and when you plug those numbers into the inflation index you get $100,000 for that average house and $18,000 for that average car in 2015.
But we know that isn’t the case.
The average home price in Edmonton is now well over $400,000, and the average car will run you $30,000… cars have improved greatly and come with a lot of improved technology but the average house price has risen to stratospheric levels.
Back in the late 1950’s you also could have expected to pay off that house in fifteen years and have your car paid off in three… now you might be lucky to pay off that house in twenty five years and car loans are often running at seven years.
Back in 1959 the average income was $3900.00 / yr before taxes.., or $32,000 in 2015.
$32,000 a year will qualify you to purchase a $100,000 home, except there aren’t any here.
If you want to buy an average house in this city you need to be making over $100,000 / yr, the average wage in Canada (for all sectors) is only $49,000 / yr.
As a final note, a really nice bicycle would have cost $40.00 to $50.00 in the mid to late 1950’s… I have a few of those nice 50’s models in the collection.