The Economist has a great interactive graph to compare home prices among various countries.
Using their Price/Rent measure as a measure of relative home price appreciation, I recorded the values for each country that had data from 1995 to 2014. This included 17 countries.
Of those 17 countries, 6 have not seen any significant increase in Price/Rent ratios since 1995.
Eight of the 17 had Price/Rent increases of at least 50%, that have are still near their highs, as of 2014. (Ireland is a bit of an extreme case, and they are far off their highs, but they still have Price/Rent levels more than 50% higher than 1995.)
That leaves 3 countries out of 17 - the US, the Netherlands, and Spain - that had Price/Rent increases of more than 50% after 1995 which have since retreated below that level, most of the way back to 1995 levels.
So, if our housing markets had never boomed, we would have had a lot of company. If our housing markets had boomed and remained elevated, we would have had a lot of company. Either of these outcomes reflect conditions which are common in many countries.
The countries with no booms probably have a mixture of depopulation, liberal housing policies, and tax policies that minimize housing consumption. We could talk about whether those policies could make sense in the US.
But, the one answer that seems like the wrong answer - "US banks, or US federal housing subsidies, pushed us into a housing bubble that was unsustainable." - is such a popular topic that it seems to have created its own bubble in popular non-fiction publishing.