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Why The Home-price Recovery Could Take Decades

That's the sense I get from this FHFA report breaking down past regional housing downturns in the U.S. It also strengthens the view that we're far from a bottom despite the positive real estate news of late.

The typical housing crash took more than 5 years to hit bottom, and in only about half of the top 40 worst declines did inflation-adjusted housing prices return to their previous peaks (before the next implosion sent them lower again).

This chart I pulled together from data in the report shows the gory details. Each city or region has two sets of bars. The red bar shows the amount of time it took to get from a peak to a trough. The blue bars show how long it took prices to crawl back to the prior peak for the regions that were lucky enough to have that happen. And the gray bars show the amount of time that's passed since the not-so-lucky regions had their peaks.

 --Zubin Jelveh