Ride The Real Estate Rollercoaster!

Thinking of buying a house as an investment? You may want to ride this roller coaster first. No, it’s not a real roller coaster, it’s the graph of US Home prices (adjusted for inflation) mapped out with Roller Coaster Tycoon. It’s oddly fun, with a “cliffhanger” ending. Enjoy! —MEGHANN MARCO

[via Kottke]


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  1. ducksauce says:

    This is awesome.

  2. Bob says:

    Somebody has way too much time on their hands.

  3. tracilyns says:

    boo! i wanted to see it plummet to a firey explosive death. that’s the best part

  4. Very creative.

  5. lore says:

    @tracilyns: But the market hasn’t tanked yet! Wait for it.. wait for it!

  6. Raanne says:

    I’d love to see that same graph adjusted for sqft of houses – since houses are much larger than they used to be, I’m sure the final hill wouldn’t be quite so large…

  7. Saydur says:

    Amusing view. I suspect that desirable suburban communities popping up help drive prices up. Still, the majority of it is a natural housing boom combined with the sad result of loaning too many people too much money. Adjustable interest rate = interest rate goes up.

  8. Wormfather says:

    …Pft, still beats the crap out of my amway investments.

  9. iMike says:

    That doesn’t look like a very fun roller coaster.

  10. katana says:

    quite a ramp up at the end… set up for the big fall? I’d say so.

    Looks like a GREAT time to buy with one one of those interest only loans and plan on a refi later.

  11. PDQ says:


    But all home prices went up – even the older, smaller ones that have been retrofitted with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. That last hill is accurate – and the other side of that hill is gonna be a helluva scary ride.

  12. kerry says:

    My boyfriend is always citing this graph when whining that we stand to lose money when we eventually sell our home. Granted, we plan on living there for another 5-10 years, and I’m inclined to believe the market won’t take a total nosedive, and that since we didn’t buy some brand new (or even newly rehabbed) place, but rather a solidly built, extremely attractive property we probably won’t be hit very hard by falling prices when we do decide to sell. Still, this roller coaster format is very sobering.

  13. medalian1 says:

    Great! I didn’t know I’d need dramamine for a simulated real estate rollercoaster. Now I’m sick @ work. Damn you consumerist!!

  14. Meg Marco says:

    @medalian1: If you’re serious, I’m so sorry. I have the worst motion sickness ever. I get motion sickness from video all the time. Hugs for you.

  15. robbie says:

    it would be cool if the years ticked by visually as you went along the coaster.

  16. Ben Thoma says:

    Seems to need a lot of help to go up, and not so much help going down.

  17. viriiman says:

    Like the Price is Right Game?


  18. traezer says:

    I wonder what caused the bubble shortly after 1890.

  19. RIP_Ford says:

    “I wonder what caused the bubble shortly after 1890”

    From Wiki:
    The Panic of 1893

    This decline in the economy was precipitated in part by a run on the gold supply. The Panic was the worst economic crisis to hit the nation in its history to that point. A series of bank failures followed, and the price of silver fell. The Northern Pacific Railway, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad all failed. This was followed by the bankruptcy of many other companies; in total over 15,000 companies and 500 banks failed (many in the west). About 20%-25% of the workforce was unemployed at the Panic’s peak.

  20. zgao says:

    So, clanky sounds good, whoosh sounds bad?