Stock Market Has Rebounded Stronger Than Real Estate Since The Recession

In 20 of 24 major metros, the median financial portfolio has fared better than the median home value since January 2010

November 14, 2016

The period after the Great Recession was the prime time to make an investment. But, which was the better bet: buying a house or putting money into the stock market?

Redfin found that the median stock market investment portfolio had better gains than the median housing-price appreciation in 20 of 24 major metro areas from January 2010 to May 2016/

Every metro had around a 65 percent median portfolio return over those six years, while the home price change was much more uneven. Four metros—San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Miami—fared better in terms of housing, in part because prices there skyrocketed and crashed the most during the bubble years.

Otherwise, the median home price appreciation across the 24 metros was 40.9 percent. In places like Baltimore and Philadelphia, houses experienced only a modest increase in value (11.4 and 11 percent). Redfin notes that property type and timing were the biggest factors in housing appreciation.

What is striking about this analysis is that from 2010 to 2016, the overall growth has been relatively strong for both real estate and stocks. However, the percentage of Americans who have invested in the stock market this year is near record lows (just 52 percent) since Gallup began tracking this two decades ago. Similarly, homeownership sits at record lows at just over 62 percent, according to the latest Census data.

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