Via Business Insider, I saw the pdf linked below. It tallies up after tax, expenses returns for different asset classes. Stocks come in first, bonds are in the middle, and SFHs and commodities are at the bottom. What's interesting is that even after the huge bond bull market over the last 30 years, the real return on bonds has been lousy (the underperformance vs. stocks and munifcipal bonds is largely due to tax). However, the real estate number is tricky because the returns on real estate are not taxed. You don't get taxed on the "imputed rent" of living in your own home, but the investor is taxed on the income. And the longer you live in your home, the more valuable that imputed, untaxed rent becomes. So I think this info may be a little misleading and underestimate the benefits of home ownership. There is a difference between owning a SFH for investment vs. aboding.