Gold Rush Real Estate: Then & Now

“There were reports of canteens charging a dollar for a slice of bread or two if it was buttered, the equivalent of $56. A dozen eggs might cost you $90 at today’s prices; a pick axe would be the equivalent of $1,500; a pound of coffee $1,200 and a pair of boots as much as $3,000…”Smithsonian

In today’s economy — booming not with gold but with technology — even San Francisco locals are in disbelief to learn the premiums being paid for another commodity in short supply: real estate. In sharp contrast with current times, mid-19th century SF was a largely rural setting with abundant raw land awaiting the development of businesses, homes and infrastructure. Now, there’s practically nowhere to build up — and when it comes to homes prices here in one of America’s richest cities, the sky is the limit.

Just for fun, let’s take a look at some Gold Rush era properties that have hit the market in recent years and their inflation adjusted prices. They’ll have you wishing you could travel back in time!

1032 Broadway Street, Nob Hill

Year Built: 1853
2015 List Price: $12,000,000
Inflation Adjusted 1853 Price: $434,813.47

1948 Sutter Street, Lower Pacific Heights

Year Built: 1858
2006 Sales Price: $2,405,000
Inflation Adjusted 1858 Price: $115,151.52


816 Grove Street, Alamo Square

Year Built: 1850
2004 Sales Price: $1,650,000
Inflation Adjusted 1850 Price: $75,370.45

10 Napier Lane, Telegraph Hill

Year Built: 1855
2012 Sales Price: $810,000
Inflation Adjusted 1855 Price: $32,849.01


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Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at