Real estate is housing, not investment ...
The last 50 yrs have been an aberration, it's no slam dunk.
This piece doesn't even address carrying costs.
Real Estate’s Gold Rush Seems Gone for Good - NYTimes.com: "Housing will eventually recover from its great swoon. But many real estate experts now believe that home ownership will never again yield rewards like those enjoyed in the second half of the 20th century, when houses not only provided shelter but also a plump nest egg."