That's certainly true, but you're referencing one snippet of time. We purchased a home in 2007 here in GA, weathered the recession, and sold at a profit in 2013. We then purchased a short sale home for about what we got for the other one, renovated before moving in and 7 years later, we've got well over $100k in equity. Other investment vehicles are much more volatile. One of the best ways to build wealth is to move to a bigger house every 3-5 years, then you can probably sit on a pile of cash when you downsize later in life.