5 Cities Offering Homes From Your Favorite Decade

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- If you're hot for herringbone floors, check out New York City's bounty of homes built in the 1920s. But if you swoon for split-level ranches, you might do better buying a property from among Honolulu's wealth of 1970s housing stock.

"Different regions of the country have more construction from different decades. It all goes back to the fact that different parts of the country boomed during different periods," says Jed Kolko of Trulia.com, which recently studied where consumers can find the most properties from various decades.

Trulia analyzed million of homes listed for sale on its site to determine where properties from the 1910s, 1920s and other decades are most commonly found.

Kolko, who's Trulia's chief economist, says the study found that lots of homes in a given market date from whenever a city's economy and population boomed most significantly.

"The country started on the East Coast and spread west, so you find more older homes in the East," he says. "But there's also a construction boom going on right now in the Carolinas, while the 1950s saw lots of mass-produced housing built in suburban areas like Long Island (outside New York City) and Orange County (near Los Angeles)."

Here's a look at cities that Trulia found have the biggest percentage of housing stock from the 1920s, 1950s and other eras -- along with a look at what features you can expect find in homes from each period.

The site estimated percentages of homes from each decade by looking at all properties listed on Trulia.com between March 25-31 and located in America's 100 largest cities. Trulia also analyzed all listings from 2011 and 2012 to determine what amenities sellers most commonly touted for homes built in various periods.

Best city for pre-1900 homes: Boston
Share of available listings:

It's no surprise that a city first settled in the 1600s has the nation's largest percentage of available pre-1900 housing.

Trulia found that homes built in the 19th century or earlier account for 10% of Greater Boston's available housing stock, including 11% of recent listings in and around the suburb of Peabody.

In fact, Massachusetts hosts five of the top 10 markets for pre-1900 listings, with cities in nearby Rhode Island, New York and Pennsylvania accounting for the rest.

Kolko attributes that to the fact that many locales in or near New England saw their greatest population growth during the 19th century. "These are older cities that haven't had huge population booms in many years," he says.

Trulia found that the most common features advertised in pre-1900s homes include pocket doors, exposed brick, carriage houses and "grand staircases."

Best city for 1920s homes: New York
Share of available listings:

New York City's housing market roared in the Roaring '20s, with lots of upscale homes built during the decade and surviving to this day.

"New York was America's biggest city long before the 1920s, but there was lots of wealth then -- so there were plenty of expensive homes built that are still around," Kolko says.

Other cities that have large surviving 1920s housing stocks include Los Angeles and Toledo, Ohio -- two cities Kolko says saw big population gains during the decade.

As for popular amenities, Trulia found that 1920s-era homes listed today most commonly call out gumwood trim, herringbone floors, Spanish-style architecture and French doors and windows.

Best city for 1950s homes: Detroit
Share of available listings:

Move to the Motor City if architecture from the days of Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley gets your engines revved up.

Kolko says Detroit has a high percentage of homes built in the 1950s because the area grew rapidly during the decade, probably due to U.S. automakers' post-war boom. "Detroit's fortunes tend to rise and fall with the auto industry," he said.

Trulia also found high percentages of 1950s-era housing in today's Cleveland and Long Island markets, two areas that saw lots of suburban growth during the period.

The site's study discovered that '50s homes tend to offer lots of features related to the post-war car culture. For instance, listings typically tout double-wide driveways, side driveways and enclosed carports.

Best city for 1970s homes: Honolulu
Share of available listings:

You can say "aloha" to plenty of 1970s-era homes if you move to Honolulu, as Hawaii's capital hosts lots of properties built in the day of lava lamps and shag carpeting.

Kolko says 1970s housing accounted for nearly a third of Honolulu's recent listings because the city saw big economic and population gains during the "Me Decade." Trulia also found a plethora of '70s housing in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Ventura County, Calif.

Ads for 1970s homes tend to focus on the decade's popular split-level architecture, with many listings mentioning "bi-level" or "split-entry" designs.

Best city for 2010s homes: Cincinnati
Share of available listings:

Cincinnati is the best place to live if new construction is your thing, as nearly half of all recent Trulia.com listings from there advertised homes built since 2010.

Kolko says the Queen City has seen some recent suburban building, while runners-up Houston and Austin, Texas, are enjoying lots of construction thanks to a recent energy boom. "These are cities that didn't have as severe a housing bust as some locations did when the housing bubble burst," he says.

Trulia found that homes built in 2010 or later tend to feature "back-to-nature"-type amenities, with ads for properties focusing on natural lighting, "hand-textured" walls and "handscraped" hardwood floors.

"We're in an era when natural, organic, artisan features all command a premium price," Kolko says.

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