Housing

It Was a Good Decade for Home Prices. Really.

Sure, there was a lot of sound (the housing bubble grows) and fury (the bubble pops) in the last decade.

But numbers released this morning show that home prices rose by 46% between January 2000 and December 2009.

That's way above the rate of inflation. So odds are if you bought a house at the beginning of the decade and sold it at the end of the decade, you made money.

That's a big deal, given how many people (who don't wind up as anecdotes in news stories) buy a house and live in it for 10, or 20, or 30 years.

Still, given the housing market's central place in the economy, the short term is important, too.

So we'll mention here that the Case-Shiller 20-city home price index is down 30% from the peak of the bubble in May 2006, but up 3% from its bottom in May, according to the AP. Prices in the last three months of 2009 were lower than in the last three months of 2008, but the rate of decline is slowing, the WSJ notes.

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