US Home Prices
This chart shows the Case Shiller home price index in US Dollars and in grams of gold. Both indices use the price of a home in January, 2000 as 100. Prices in gold and dollars tracked pretty well until 2001, when the dollar began to collapse, taking the true value of homes down with it.
At first, the drop in the dollar simply offset the apparent rise in home prices, and prices in gold worked sideways until 2006. But when home prices began to fall in dollar terms, and dollars were themselves falling in value, the double-whammy pushed true home prices down to levels not seen since the late 1980s. In fact, they set a new record, the lowest level since the index was first published. This means that most homes purchased in the last 20 years are now worth less than the original purchase price, even if they show gains of 100%, 200%, or more, in dollar terms.
You should also notice that the most recent uptick in dollar prices is more than offset by the decline in the value of the dollar, the unavoidable side-effect of government bailouts and interest rate price fixing by the Fed.
The last chart shows a synthetic index built from several different sets of home price data complied by Shiller for his book Irrational Exuberance. Looking back to 1890, we can see that home prices today are lower than they were during the Great Depression, and are approachng their all-time lows.