The cost of real estate today would be at least 50% less if that bubble never happened. I bought a 1 bedroom condo in NJ in 2009 for $150k, thinking I was getting a great deal! I later found out the folks I bought it from had paid $35k just 8 years earlier. Based on inflation, it should have sold for $40-45k. I would have rather bought a house, and if the bubble never happened I would have had many options for less than $100k. Now it's hard to find anything livable for less than $300k. I'm not sure we'll ever fully recover from that debacle. It's all part of the plan to eventually have us corralled into cities for easy control by the Federal Gov't and only a select few actually owning property - like elected officials.