This 2006 economy is heating up fast! It's not just the record stock market highs and the M&A boom and the rapid growth of incomes in the top 1% and hedge fund guys buying $155 million paintings—home prices are on the rise again. Everywhere! From the WSJ:

Prices rose by 8.1% in January from a year earlier, the largest such gain in 6½ years, according to figures from the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major metropolitan cities released Tuesday. All 20 cities posted annual increases...

Housing demand is revving up at a time when the number of homes for sale has fallen to the lowest level in decades. Low mortgage rates also are helping homeowners who can qualify for a mortgage take on more debt without a big increase in their monthly payment.

Our recommendation: buy, buy, buy real estate. Everyone is doing it. No money? No problem! Thanks to modern financial innovations available to us in 2006 2013, Wall Street can issue loans to you and then package that debt, slice it up, and sell it to investors—making the risk disappear! And the skeptics? You can blow smoke into their faces from the cigars you lit with $100 bills. I guess they'll have to learn the hard way that real estate values never go down.

[Pic: Flickr]