President Barack Obama says it likely will be another year to 18 months before home prices start rising again and sales start to pick up.
But he says the federal government can't accomplish that alone, and will need support from the banking industry and others to make
sure the market pulls out of its slump.
Obama provided no support for his prediction. His comments Wednesday came in response to questioner at a town hall in Atkinson, Ill.
The president ventured from Iowa into politically familiar territory as he wrapped up a three-state tour through the cornfields, towns and cities of the Midwest. He was holding a second town hall meeing Wednesday afternoon in Alpha, Illinois and was scheduled to meet with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn later in the day.
Dozens of people lined up early Wednesday morning to see President Barack Obama at the first of two town hall-style meetings in rural Henry County.
Supporters Jean Causemaker and Mary Kay Franks were determined to see President Obama when they found out he'd be in town Wednesday. A handful of people without tickets gathered across the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of Obama's bus.
The three-day bus tour is part of an effort by Obama to command attention just after Republican presidential candidates dominated the news with a debate and straw poll in Iowa. He has used the trip to criticize his presidential and congressional opponents and to outline modest economic proposals in advance of Congress' return to Washington next month.
After his stop in Illinois, President Obama will return to Washington to begin a 10-day vacation.