Housing: Better Than Stocks In '08

Both were bad, but shares fell more.

By SHARE

Did house-flippers in economically depressed areas like Detroit or overheated markets like Tampa still make better investments than your average index fund holding equity investor last year, provided they kept their payments up and their properties out of foreclosure? Maybe.

Today's Case-Shiller home price index was dismal again for October, with prices in 20 major cities falling 18 percent year-over-year. Some lowlights:

  • Phoenix  down 32.7 percent
  • Las Vegas down 31.7 percent
  • San Francisco down 31 percent
  • Miami down 29 percent
  • Los Angeles down 27.9 percent
  • San Diego down 26.7 percent
  • Detroit down 20.4 percent
  • Tampa down 19.8 percent
  • Washington down 18.7 percent
  • Minneapolis down 16.3 percent
  • Chicago, down 10.8 percent
  • Atlanta down 10.5 percent
  • Seattle down 10.2 percent
  • Portland, down 10.1 percent
  • New York  down 7.5 percent
  • Cleveland down 6.2 percent
  • Boston  down 6 percent 
  • Denver down 5.2 percent
  • Charlotte down 4.4 percent
  • Dallas down 3 percent
  • Still, those returns actually look appealing compared to stocks during the same period:

    • Dow Jones industrial average down almost 33 percent
    • Nasdaq down 39 percent
    • S&P 500 down 36 percent
    • And yes, I know it's comparing apples and oranges, but if your new house in Dallas lost 3 percent while your neighbor's portfolio of small caps or international stocks sank like a stone, who made the smarter move?

      • Kirk Shinkle

        Kirk Shinkle is a senior editor for U.S. News Money and manages the Best Funds portal. Follow him on Twitter @KirkS or email him at kshinkle@usnews.com.

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