Ever since the closing of the war the problem of knowing the cost of the construction of the small house has been a very intricate one, and no sure estimates could be made, until the plans were completed and let out for bids. Previous to the war, when costs were somewhat stabilized, it was possible to predict with a reasonable amount of accuracy the cost of the dwelling when the plans were still only roughed in.
In order to show the fluctuation in prices, an example of a seven-room frame house of Type I can be mentioned. This house was practically 30 by 34 feet, and had a cubical contents of about 29,100 cubic feet and an area of 2,640 square feet. In 1914 this house cost $5,529.00, but at the peak of prices in 1920 this house cost $12,815.00, which was an increase of 131 per cent. In the spring of 1922 this same house cost $9,502.00 to build, which was about 71 per cent over that of pre-war prices. With a heavy pressure of needed construction in dwellings, the cost of materials seems to be settling down to a very gradual decrease in cost, so that the present rates show a more stable curve of decline than those of the latter part of 1920 and during 1921. The unfortunate factor which is noticeable is that certain building interests believe that a building boom is inevitable, and therefore that it is the time to hold up prices again. Wherever this has happened a building boom has been headed off.