Japan's Palace Grounds Once More Valuable than California

Last Updated Aug 27, 2007 5:35 PM EDT

Banking and Broking image courtesy Library of CongressThe phrase "Housing Bubble" is all-too-familiar territory for most of us, but in hindsight it shouldn't be anything new. Japan beat us to the punch back in the early 90s. Japan's real estate bubble got so 'irrationally exuberant' that the grounds under Tokyo's Imperial Palace were assessed at a value greater than the entire state of California.

In the case of Japan, there was a correction in the market -- a 15-year correction that is just now gathering steam again. Looking ahead to the U.S., analysts predict that the worst isn't over yet.

Forbes' Robert Lenzner cites U.S. residential real estate as the "largest single asset class in the world" with a total worth of about $27 trillion. If home values decline nationally by only 10%, we're looking at a loss of $3 trillion of wealth -- and mostly out of the pockets of consumers.

Banking and Broking image courtesy Library of Congress