Below is a revealing chart from McKinsey, tracking housing prices around the world since 1970. It shows that the housing bubble was frothiest in the UK in the last decade or so, with the US in the middle of the pack and Germany the only country featured where prices are now lower than in 1970.
As McKinsey points out, in 2008 the value of US residential real estate fell 10%. The global average fared only somewhat better, declining by almost 4%.
“We estimate that falling home prices erased more than $3.4 trillion of household wealth in 2008," McKinsey wrote. "And because home prices are slow to correct, the current slide may persist for some time, which could depress global consumption.”