Housing bottom may be near, but recovery expected to be anemic

As we learned yesterday housing prices continue to fall, but according to estimates from those in the know (or at least hope they know) -- including chief economists at Fannie and Freddie, the Mortgage Bankers Association, Realtors and homebuilder groups -- real estate may hit bottom in about a month. However, any rebound in prices could still be a year away, according to a survey by Bloomberg.

Survey participants don't expect to see existing home sales reach pre-boom levels until the third quarter of 2010 and housing starts won't surpass one million until 2011. That barrier was last broken 60 years ago. The rebound will likely be so anemic that 2009 housing starts are expected to be just 496,000 homes, which is the lowest since the end of World War II.