We are always keen to accentuate the positive; we are also keen to accentuate reality. The reality is that a return to 2006-era home prices and transaction activity likely resides in the distant future.

We looked at other bubbles that have burst – the stock market in 1929, the gold market in 1980, the tech market in 2000 – and found that it can take years, if not decades, for the market to return to pre-bubble levels. As we all know, the housing bubble burst in full in late 2007/early 2008 and prices tumbled hard over the subsequent three years.

The good news is that the hard sell-off that marks a bursting bubble is an acute not a chronic event. That means once the sell-off is complete, the healing process begins and markets move forward, thought at a relatively slower pace compared to the pre-bubble pace.

The frustrating aspect of the recovery is that little can be done to accelerate it. To be sure, the housing market is recovering, but it's going to be awhile before it reaches the level of activity we were accustomed to a few years ago. Keeping that fact in mind not only helps mitigate frustration but also helps us stick to our guns as we focus on the long-term trend, which, fortunately, will be up.

Courtesy of Jessica Regan.

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