Home prices, wages, and crap

Forbes just posted a graph showing the expanding gap between median home prices and median wages, based on data garnered from the National Association of Realtors and the Social Security Administration.

Now, a whizbang economist could probably enhance this analysis by commenting on the relative interest rates during the period (taken from Ibbotson), the rising mortgage and consumer credit levels (from the Federal Reserve), and even the balance of trade between the US and foreign countries (from the US Department of Commerce). He or she could go on and on about how the difference between the two elements means housing prices are primed for a severe downturn or we are headed for depression-era styled times. Others might expound upon the information as a sign that hard assets are the place to be, and the numbers reflect good times, particularly increasing wealth versus working hours.

I am no economist. I walk my dog around my neighborhood each morning and each evening. I see cars parked on the street in front of houses with large two car garages.

Based on my data I still thought the graph needed a little work: