A real estate agent told a young couple that I know that their house could sell for about $100,000 in today's market, even though it could rent for about $1500 a month. That would make the annual rent equal to 18 percent of the price. That strikes me as a very high yield in an environment of low inflation and interest rates.
I tried putting some money into a REIT fund a while ago, but it turns out that in the everything-is-correlated market a REIT fund is just a high-beta stock. What I really want to invest in is a vulture fund that swoops up properties where the rental yield is high.
Anomalies like this make me believe that the housing market could recover really quickly if the government would just back off and let the market find its balance.