At least, that’s the conclusion of Ted Jones, Chief Economist at Stewart Title, who spoke at the recent National Association of Real Estate Editors in San Antonio Texas.
Despite all the recent talk about gold being the hottest investment out there, Jones notes that, over the last 30 years, “Real estate outpeformed gold two to one.”
He adds, “If you had bought a median-priced home in January of 1980 and sold it last month [May of 2011], it would have gone up in value 207%. If you had sold gold after holding it for the last 30 years, it would have gone up only a little.”
And that doesn’t even take into account the benefits of actually owning a house, which you can enjoy living in or renting out. What can you do with a piece of gold for 30 years? “Look at it!” says Jones.
Of course, you could argue that the next 30 years aren’t likely to be as rosy for the housing market. Nevertheless, Jones observes that some increase in demand is inevitable. By the year 2050, the U.S. population is expected to increase to 400 million people, not including undocumented aliens. (The current U.S. population is 311,623,562.) Those folks will eventually need housing!