I'll add that it's not that the press is bias, but they certainly are irresponsible--and most who write for the "real estate desk" are also unqualified. In all the media reports on the current problems in the market that I am aware of, only one has mentioned that the market downturns are local phenomena, not market-wide--and the mention was so brief and lacking in context that it likely went right over the heads of most.
The consequence of this combination is that my market, San Antonio, TX, has experienced a slow-down that goes beyond the effect that the closer scrutiny lenders are giving to buyers should have had. Prices have not declined--they met their projected mark in '07, and the city is #2 on the Forbes list of most recession proof cities. Yet, people still ask me whether the market is bad, and seem skeptical when I reply that it is good.
The consequence in markets that have experienced a down-turn will likely be a bottoming out below any reasonable "adjustment" and a relatively quick rebound to a more reasonable level of "adjusted" values after the general economic climate improves. I'm optimistic about the prospects for markets in areas wherein the down-turn was related primarily to speculation and high levels of participation by unqualified buyers in sub-prime loans, but skeptical about other markets. Those markets wherein outsourcing and layoffs associated with the current energy crisis compound the problems related to the consequences of the speculative boondoggles will likely decline further and take longer to recover.
I do think the NAR is working to combat some of the bad press out there..and honestly..I do have buyers right now. Investors are buying up the REO and Foreclosures and will do quite well once the market stabilizes.
As far as "when will it rebound" I think It will slowly stablilize and then level off. My professional opinion is that it will then slowly recover.
My perspective from Palm Beach County, Florida and in particular Jupiter Tequesta Florida, is that the market has approached it's low. In many communities the tide has actually turned and prices and inventory are stabilized. I agree with others who have commented that if you focus on the doom and gloom that is what will appear. Something similiar to all the press and talk about the $5-$10 per gallon that is being projected. It is important to remember that most people do pay their mortgages on time and did not succumb to a greedy market. If your home is the best priced and the best "looking" you have the top chance of getting it sold.