Like almost everything in real estate, it's going to depend on the specific local market you are interested in. Areas like inner city Detroit (just for example) that were not doing well before the "sub-prime lending crisis" are not going to bounce back quickly, if at all. Areas that were doing well before the "crisis" are likely to recover more quickly.
My local market in Western North Carolina includes a lot of vacation home, second home, and investment buyers. As these buyers are often less affected by economic conditions overall, I expect we'll recover pretty quickly.
When planning for the recovery, keep in mind other factors that might be changing. I expect that the price of gasoline is going to be a significant factor. People are likely to want to live closer to work, or to public transportation. Don't bet on gas getting any cheaper - ever. While we may in the long run develop alternative sources of energy to fuel personal transportation, there is scant evidence that any of them are going to be any cheaper than gasoline.