The continuing problems in housing have changed the way Americans consume, borrow, and invest. And that's all to the good. Instead of purchasing things with money borrowed via home equity loans, we're buying things with cash from earnings or savings. That may mean spending somewhat less, but spending somewhat smarter. Capital investment, instead of going into new housing and condo developments, is going into solar plants and retrofitting existing buildings. Growing without housing, and the cheap money it spun, may be harder. But it's not impossible. The real question that may have significant effect on the real estate market is the shrinking value of the dollar. To avoid inflation the Feds may resort to increase interest rates.
That will answer at least one question with the state of the unemployment less people will qualify for mortgages.