Housing as both consumption and investment.
Trulia.com provides an interactive graph on "Rent vs. Buy" in America's 50 largest cities by population. The "Rent:Buy Ratio" is calculated by comparing median home price with median annual rent -- which I would rather call a "Buy-Rent Ratio" to be in consistent with its calculation.
The city with a highest ratio in 2011 is New York, where the median housing price is about 31 times the annual rent. It clearly shows that housing there is not only a consumption but also an investment.