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News analysis: Risk profile of real estate has changed

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The risk profile of what was once considered the safest investment in the land has taken a dramatic swing in the last 18 months.

During the peak of the U.S. housing market between 2002 and 2005, bullish forecasters and industry boosters promised that the most prudent investment in the world was U.S. home buyers. Investors from around the globe agreed, investing wildly in the residential mortgage market.