Those who are watching their investment portfolios move up and down on a daily basis. Sometimes these triple digit moves to the up and downsides are enough to get someone to think more about safety instead of looking for anything close to double digit returns. For real estate investors however, theyhome prices up 33 months in a row can have both security as well as an income stream.

And the income isn’t capital gains, it’s rental income and along with the associated depreciation and expenses allowed, the property not only pays for itself but provides significant income tax benefits that other investments simply cannot provide.

In an article appearing in Yahoo Finance, the most recent home price numbers were released by real estate data firm CoreLogic. According to the article, in November, home prices rose by 5.5 percent compared to November of 2013. That’s 33 months of consecutive home price increase. Now compare that asset with any other type of investment. Can you pick any stock or mutual fund that has shown an increase in value each month for nearly three years in a row?

In today’s market real estate investors have enjoyed not just a respectable increase in equity over the years but have also witnessed a continued strength in the rental market. As lending guidelines tightened toward the end of 2009 many would-be buyers couldn’t qualify for a mortgage. That meant more and more people looking for housing chose instead to rent. And as our economy continues to improve and the job market stabilizes, real estate investors will find that not only will rental rates continue to rise but when they decide to sell an asset it’s more likely the buyers will be approved for a mortgage compared to just a few years ago.

Not every real estate property can provide solid returns and a positive monthly cash flow. It takes talent as well as perseverance to locate qualifying homes. But once found, there may be no better long term investment in today’s climate.