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The Ticker

The pros and cons of investing in housing: Atlanta Fed

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Robert Shiller notes that a home may not be such a great investment after all.

That's because after adjustments are made for inflation, Shiller says that real home prices are more or less flat over the long term and that investors can make better returns by investment elsewhere, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

"While we acknowledge that the gains over time are sensitive to the index you choose to use, we think it's also important to note that returns on investments in housing have not consistently increased regardless of which index you use," explained staff at the Atlanta Fed.

They added, "Even if you exclude the most recent bubble, there have been notable ups and downs, although none as severe."

In sum, if a home is purchased only as an investment and not as a place to reside, the comparison of average annual returns shows that investing in equities offers favorable returns more often than investing in housing. 

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