Wall Street has long struggled with indexing and analyzing real estate as an international investment, according to ""Winans International"":http://www.winansintl.com/, a California-based investment advisor and research firm.
Winans International market researchers Ken Winans and Dr. Bryan Taylor tackled the problem by gathering the data from 36 countries and developing an approach to[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]
combine these global studies of home prices into a single data set.
The two say their model has the added benefit of no time lag and circumvents the scaling problems found in other real estate benchmarks.
The new index is called Winans-Taylor International Real Estate Index (symbol: WITIRE).
Ken Winans of Winans International Investment Management & Research stressed that this is the only index that tracks global housing prices since 1975.
He says the benchmark has already revealed several important facts, such as global housing prices, as a whole, have grown faster over the past 36 years than home prices in the United States Ã¢â‚¬" up 24 percent vs. 16 percent, respectively.
In addition, the WITIRE is currently near all-time highs when taking global housing prices into account, while the Winans International Real Estate Index (symbol: WIREI) shows U.S. home prices are 4 percent below their 2006 year-end high.