The lighter side of real estate

Real Estate Through Time (infographic)

Lauren Tyson

Lauren is Movoto's resident Social Media Manager. She takes real estate, Facebook, and mustaches very seriously.

22 articles, 7 comments


Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “We are not makers of history…We are made by history”. We’re inclined to apply that to Real Estate, since it’s come a long way since the days of huddling around a rudimentary fire in a dank, dark cave.



Here’s the timeline in text format, with a few additions from some great real estate minds:


  • 334 BC – Alexander the Great’s defeat of the Persians shows aggressive acquisition of real estate by force
  • 1066 – William the Conqueror decrees that he owns all of the land in England after his defeat of the Normans
  • 1689 – John Locke writes the Two Treatises on Civil Government, which outlines a man’s right to preserve “life, liberty, and estate.”
  • 1783 – Napoleon begins seizing real estate in the form of countries
  • 1803 – The U.S. acquires some swampy new land in the Louisiana Purchase
  • 1855 – Baird Warner is formed and has remained the oldest real estate brokerage in the nation
  • 1867 – U.S. gains a bit of icy tundra from Russia in the Alaska Purchase
  • 1916 – National association of real estate agents coins the term Realtor
  • 1929 – The largest stock market crash sparks the Great Depression and the collapse of the real estate market
  • 1934 – National Housing Act creates the FHA (Federal Housing Association)
  • 1938 – The Federal National Mortgage Association – now Fannie Mae – is chartered by the federal government
  • Late 1940’s – Adoption of fixed-rate mortgage as industry standard
  • Early 1960’s – The National Association of Real Estate Boards creates national MLS system based on unilateral offer of cooperation
  • 1970 – Congress charters Freddie Mac and the secondary loan market
  • 1980’s – Interest rates zoom upward and halt construction of new homes
  • 1994 – Property listings begin to become publicly available on the Internet
  • 1995 – Craigslist is launched
  • 1999 – ZipRealty introduces Internet lead generation to Real Estate
  • 1999 – Move (formerly HomeStore) goes public, the first real estate company to do so
  • Early 2000’s – Launch of IDX feeds for real estate websites
  • 2004 – Popular real estate blog, Curbed, is founded in New York City
  • 2005 – Google announces Google Base, Google Earth, and Google Maps
  • 2005 – launches real estate Mapsearch using Google Maps
  • 2006 – launches its Zestimate
  • 2007 – Trulia launches Trulia Voices, a real estate question & answer site
  • 2007 to 2010 – The “Housing Bubble” bursts, causing the financial crisis in the U.S.
  • 2008 – NAR (National Association of Realtors) settles with the DOJ (Department of Justice) over accusations of hampering rivals’ ability to post home listings online
  • 2008 – Zillow launches their Mortgage Marketplace for consumers
  • 2009 – Real Estate phone apps become all the rage
  • Late 2000’s – Brick and Mortar offices decrease in number as virtual real estate companies become more prevalent
  • 2010 to Present – Real Estate data (homes-for-sale, sold history, etc.) becomes more easily accessible for all
  • 2010 to Present – Foreclosures and Short Sales become the dominant listing type in the market


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posted on: March 1, 2012
[views], 4 comments


  1. Luke

    “Too bad short sales aren’t normally short” — ain’t that the truth.

    Great infographic — thanks for sharing.

  2. Jodi Summers

    Really cool graphic.
    Thanks for the history lesson.

  3. Mike Devlin

    William the Conqueror did NOT defeat the Normans; he was a Norman. He defeated the English army lead by Harold at the Battle of Hastings.

  4. Temple

    “World’s First Sold Sign” – Love it


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