Real Estate Tops Gold as Best Long-Term Investment

Real estate ranks ahead of gold, stocks, bonds, or savings accounts as the best long-term investment today, according to a nationwide poll by the Gallup organization.

Survey iconThirty percent of Americans named real estate their best investment option in the poll, which was conducted earlier this month. Real estate has been rising steadily in Gallup’s annual investment polls since 2011, when only 19 percent of Americans viewed it favorably.

Rising home prices and growing stability in real estate markets are credited for much of the change in perception.

Gold was the No. 1 investment option in 2011, when 34 percent of poll respondents named it their favorite. Gold was at its highest market price at the time, but prices have dropped significantly since then.

In the latest poll, gold and stocks tied for second place behind real estate, at 24 percent, followed by savings accounts (14 percent) and bonds (6 percent).

Real estate has ranked first among investment options in previous years — 50 percent of poll respondents picked it as their top choice in 2002, as markets boomed — but it fell out of favor during the subprime mortgage crisis and recession.

Real estate’s recovery has been underway for more than a year, with Bay Area markets at the national forefront. The San Jose and San Francisco metropolitan areas were recently identified as having the highest home equity levels in the nation, and another report named the metro areas the No. 1 and 2 best markets for home sellers.

Pacific Union’s just-released Real Estate Report for the first quarter of 2014 provides detailed summaries of activity in each of our nine Northern California markets. In March, median single-family home prices reached yearly highs in most regions and topped $1 million in San Francisco and Marin County. Farther south in our Silicon Valley region, home prices surpassed the $2.5 million mark.

(Image: Flickr/Micky Aldridge)

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