How bad is the housing market? So bad that realtors apparently misstate sale prices on a regular basis (I guess in a feeble, weak-minded attempt to boost the market and make more money on commissions):
"The Illinois Association of Realtors said Monday that the median price it reported for home sales within the city of Chicago was inflated in May and mistakes in its reports may go back more than three years."
--No kidding, I'm shocked! If anyone wants the "real deal" (a/k/a the "truth") about residential real estate, just read this from the Wall Street Journal:
“. . . . the average single family house has never been a particularly stellar investment. In a society increasingly concerned with providing for retirement security and housing affordability, this finding has large implications. It means that we have put excessive emphasis on owner-occupied housing for social objectives, mistakenly relied on homebuilding for economic stimulus, and fostered misconceptions about homeownership and financial independence. We've diverted capital from more productive investments and misallocated scarce public resources. . . .
. . . a dollar used to purchase a median-price, single-family California home in 1980 would have grown to $5.63 in 2007, and to $2.98 in 2010. The same dollar invested in the Dow Jones Industrial Index would have been worth $14.41 in 2007, and $11.49 in 2010”
“. . . . A nation of house buyers becomes captive to the economic cyclicality caused by bursts of construction activity, and it is not lifted or sustained by the limited levels of service employment related to existing housing. By contrast, a nation of business startups and investors supports our capital markets and creates long-term employment, income, exports and the myriad technological advancements desperately needed by an expanding American society.”