President Obama predicted it will be another year or more before the housing industry begins to rise again.
His prediction came in response to a question at a town hall meeting in Atkinson, Ill., Wednesday as he wrapped up a three-day bus tour of the Midwest.
Obama offered no factual support for his estimated timeline. But he did say the federal government will need support from the banking industry, consumers and the private sector will need to help in order for the housing market to pull out of its slump.
The president said the administration is mulling how to encourage banks to start lending again, among other ideas for which he offered no specifics.
Obama said growing the economy overall will also help the housing sector.
His comments were in response to a question from the owner of a local real estate company, who said she had begun to see a turnaround in late spring. But her phones stopped ringing after last month's "debt ceiling fiasco," when the government came close to defaulting on its financial obligations.
"We have no consumer confidence after what has just happened," she told the president. "I should be out working 14 hours a day and I am not."