It's All Relative, A Long Term View

by, Susan Herst

New York Times article a few weeks ago prompted me to check out the recent S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index.  For me, and my spatially oriented mind, a picture always is worth a thousand words.  Taking a look at the below graph, obviously national home prices have declined since their peak in 2006, yet look at how rapidly they climbed from 1998 to 2006.  Are we not where we would have been had we had the same modest price increase from 1988 to 1998 instead?

So, as Karl Case points out in this New York Times article, A Dream House After All, yes, the American dream may no longer be “owning property that appreciates by 30 percent a year, making a house into a vehicle for paying bills,”  but it still can be “having a solid and fairly safe long-term investment that is coupled with the satisfaction of owning the house they live in.  That dream is still alive.”   Thanks, Karl, for the reminder.