A rise in new home building usually helps lead the way out of a recession by providing jobs for workers in the construction and building supplies industries. That hasn't happened during this recovery.
While a few areas of the country, such as Washington D.C. and Texas, are showing housing gains, many others are floundering. Now some economists are predicting that a housing recovery won't kick in until 2012. That's because housing sales -- although improving month to month -- are still way below those of even a year ago.
That means there's still a chance they could plummet again.
These AOL Real Estate guides offer more insights, whether you're in the market to buy, rent or sell: