Current home prices when adjusted for inflation are back to 2001 levels, suggesting the high prices experienced over the past decade did little to effectuate significant long-term gains, according to David Blitzer, chairman of Standard & Poor's index committee. Blitzer said the rapid increase and decline in home prices did nothing for average home values while creating havoc throughout the economy. Current home prices when adjusted for inflation are back to 2001 levels, suggesting the high prices experienced over the past decade did little to effectuate significant long-term gains, according to David Blitzer, chairman of Standard & Poor's index committee. Blitzer said the rapid increase and decline in home prices did nothing for average home values while creating havoc throughout the economy. "Allowing for a dip in home prices in the 1990s when inflation rose faster than houses, we're almost back to 1989," he said. "This shouldn't suggest that home prices never rise faster than inflation any more than the arguments for investing in your home – they're not making any more land or everyone has to live somewhere — should be ignored." Blitzer posted a chart on the company's HousingViews blog recently that showed the S&P/Case-Shiller 10-city home price index and real home prices not far from where they landed in early 2001. As for whether buying a home is even a good investment, Blitzer reached no definitive conclusion. "There isn't a general answer to the question because it depends on the economy, the real estate market and most of all on the needs, desires and finances of the potential buyer," he said. Write to Kerri Panchuk.