In fact, except in some densely populated areas, the value of a home has always been mostly in the structure, not the land. But because land’s fraction was rising until recently, people may have been deluded into thinking that investments in housing and land were one and the same.
By 2000, many people appeared to have forgotten that when home prices rise sharply, builders are likely to increase the supply, which tends to bring prices back down. We had such a supply response in the 2000s, and with a vengeance. In the near future, at least, while a speculative investing culture may re-emerge among homeowners, it is likely to be tempered by the memory of crashing prices.