January 1988: Computer-aided design and Sotheby’s
To celebrate REAL Trends’ 30th anniversary year, we will bring back old articles from our early years to see how much (or little) has changed about the industry.
By Steve Murray, publisher
Some of the big news stories from 30 years ago had to do with the introduction of brokerage manage-ment software being built and deployed by the original Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service. Yes, it was big news then. Computer-aided design and drafting systems were used to design and plan new home floor plans.
A Harris Poll indicated that a majority of home-owners believed their children would end up living in smaller homes than their parents did at the same age. It turns out, almost none of these big stories survived the test of time.
Some things have panned out. A study by AARP said that over three-fourths of retirees are staying put, a trend that has some basis in truth today. Sotheby’s was beginning a strong growth surge under their original membership program strategy. That growth has continued under the ownership and guidance of Realogy. Sotheby’s remains a strong high-end luxury global network.
For one last trip down memory lane, the median sale price of existing family homes at the end of 1987 was about $84,200—about one-third of what the price is today, 30 years later.