Under this furious assault of men and machinery, new houses rise at an astounding rate — one finished house every 16 minutes.They sell for ,990.00; .00 in closing costs and a .00 monthly mortgage payment — a mere 20% of a working man's income. With the same speed and efficiency that built airfields on Guadacanal and tank bridges over the Rhine, seasoned veterans of wartime construction brigades are quickly building a new kind of American city, and with it, a new American lifestyle.All had underfloor radiant heat, fireplaces, and a large picture window.Windows were glazed with Thermopane dual-glass units — 30 years before anyone else.
There were a record number of marriages in 1946 and again in 1947, and a record number of births — the beginning of the Baby Boom generation. Young couples with infants were living above garages, in spare rooms, in tiny apartments with their parents; returning veterans were forced to live in their cars. The ideal of actually owning a home was distant dream to the average wage-earner.By 1946, the demand for new housing had been growing for years. All of the "strategic" materials needed to build housing went to war with our armed forces and built barracks, airfields and officer's clubs from Burma to Murmansk.The Great Depression of the 1930s depressed, among other things, home building. Housing starts plummeted 90%, from 937,000 in 1925 to barely 93,000 in 1933. In 1940 rents reached an all-time high, prompting the very first Federal Government rent controls. By the end of the war housing demand had been steadily outstripping supply for an entire generation.But, at the start of 1946 it was a bright new world.The most costly and deadliest war of all time was finally over. The total wealth of the nation had doubled in just four years.