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Real Estate Definition and History

Real Estate is real property, consisting of land and the buildings and structures thereon.  The ancient Greeks believed in private property rights in a religious context, and this made it difficult to buy and sell real property without religious authorization.  The real estate industry expanded during the Roman Empire, and its early emperors and merchants invested extensively in land, both in Rome and in its dominions.  Many Roman soldiers were landowners, and land holdings were allotted to many Roman war veterans.  However, over the course of many years, land was gradually concentrated under the ownership of aristocrats, while many small landowners lost their lands and became tenants.  This situation gave rise to the feudal system of the Middle Ages, with its distinction between lords and vassals.  In the modern era, real estate has become a major industry, with vacant land as well as residential, commercial, and industrial property being freely traded and financed on the open market.  Many governments such as the United States Government are major landowners as well, as evidenced by information on the Bureau of Land Management website, for example.
An early Real Estate transaction is recorded in Genesis chapter 47, verse 20 of the Old Testament: "And Joseph bought all the soil of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them; and the land became Pharaoh's".  Later, in the New Testament era, Acts chapter 4, verses 34-35 records that "as many as were owners of lands or houses, selling them, brought the price of what was sold and laid it at the feet of the apostles; and distribution was made to each according as any one might have need".  More information about the Real Estate industry is available on this BLS - Real Estate page.  Recent news headlines about real estate are available on this Real Estate News page.

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