RealtyShares Survey Reveals: Americans May Not Know Which Investment Types Have Performed Best

Survey finds 40 percent of Americans aren’t sure which type of investment has performed the best since 2000

SAN FRANCISCO--()--RealtyShares, a leading online marketplace for real estate investing, announced findings from its Real Estate Investing Survey, conducted online among over 2,000 U.S. adults in March 2017 by Harris Poll on its behalf, which also reveals Americans’ appetite for investing in real estate.

The survey finds that 40 percent of Americans aren’t sure what type of investment has performed the best since 2000 when asked to choose among stocks, real estate, commodities, bonds, cash equivalents such as oil, gold and cotton, and other. One-quarter of Americans (25%) thought that stocks have been the top-performing asset class since 2000, while only 16 percent of Americans believed it has been real estate. Among the remaining asset classes, 9 percent believed commodities have performed the best, 6 percent chose cash equivalents, while 3 percent of those polled thought bonds have performed the best.

This perception, likely fueled by the conditions around the recent economic recession, gives stocks the edge when the results have historically been mixed. Since 2000, real estate has outperformed the stock market approximately 2:1, returning 10.71 percent annually compared to a 5.43 percent annual total return with the S&P 500 Index (range from Dec 31, 2000 - Dec 30 2016). The S&P has had the advantage more recently, but both markets have recovered well with the S&P posting a 12.65 percent annual return since 2010 compared to a 11.37 percent annual return for real estate (range from Dec 31, 2010 - Dec 30 2016). Keep in mind historical returns may not recur or be achieved in the future.

“Real estate returns have kept pace with or even exceeded certain investment options in the past and, yet, 85 percent of Americans aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to invest in this asset class,” said Nav Athwal, CEO of RealtyShares. “Risks are inherent with all investments, so diversification is important for any investor’s portfolio. That the majority of Americans haven’t tapped into real estate can speak to the lack of access that has been inherent in the industry for a long time.”

Despite Little Knowledge of Potential Benefits, Appetite for Real Estate Investing is Strong

When it comes to America’s appetite for investing in this asset class, the survey shows that 48 percent of Americans would be more likely to invest in real estate if there were technology available to make the process easier, and that number grows to 63 percent among millennials (18-34).

One of the common ways Americans start investing in real estate is to invest or participate in a home flip, taking on the challenges of the residential market. According to the RealtyShares survey:

  • Roughly two-thirds of American men and women agree that flipping a home is a good way to make money (64 percent of men and 68 percent of women).
  • Men are more likely than women to think they would be able to complete a home flip (44 percent compared with 31 percent).
  • Adults ages 35-44 are more likely than those ages 45+ to think that flipping a home is a good way to make money (77 percent versus 60 percent).

“Residential real estate as an asset class is a $29 trillion market, and the commercial sector adds another $10 trillion,” continued Athwal. “Over the last ten years, we’ve seen an application of technology to real estate to make it easier for homebuyers to research properties, and open up real estate investing to a much wider audience. The next wave of tech companies, such as RealtyShares, has the potential to fundamentally alter the way in which we transact within this industry -- making it easier for someone to raise capital, get a loan or efficiently put that capital to work as part of a larger investment portfolio. Our vision is to continue closing the gap between the way people invest in the stock market and the real estate market.”

To view the full report, visit the RealtyShares Blog.

To learn more about RealtyShares and how to buy, invest or flip property, please visit


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of RealtyShares from March 16-20, 2017 among 2,198 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Dave Claffey.

About RealtyShares

RealtyShares is transforming the real estate investment landscape by connecting borrowers and sponsors to debt and equity capital from accredited and institutional investors, across an array of financing products. Private investments are highly illiquid and risky and are not suitable for all investors. Through the RealtyShares website, these investors can browse investment opportunities, perform due diligence, invest online and have 24/7 access to an investor dashboard to watch how their investments are performing. RealtyShares offers securities through North Capital Private Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC. For more information on how to become a real estate investor or to seek capital through the RealtyShares marketplace, please visit


Dave Claffey, 415-715-9423

Release Summary

RealtyShares Real Estate Investing Survey looks at Americans and their real estate investing habits, along with their perceptions of the market.


Dave Claffey, 415-715-9423