For the past two decades, Banks and Realtors have been selling Real Estate as an investment. Now, we know that "in a way" it is an investment, but the true nature of the beast is that it is a commodity. Like a commodity it can fluctuate in price. We are now seeing a downward fluctuation. I expect it to go on for five years or more. Do not be deluded by the realtors. They refuse to count the houses sold at auction in their numbers of houses sold (technically because they were not sold by realtors). In so doing, they can claim that house prices are going up. Yippie! Unfortunately, the reality is that they are still going down because of all of the foreclosures. It will take years to clean up this mess. When the banks stop failing, house prices will start going up again.