During the recession in 2001, a strong home-sale market was instrumental in pulling the economy back on track. The opposite may be the case now. The economy, particularly employment, needs to improve before the housing market stabilizes.
Low interest rates are helping the home-sale market today, but the housing market is far from stalwart. Unemployment is high; mortgage qualification is difficult; and most buyers can't afford to buy a new one without selling their existing home first, creating a logjam in the repeat homebuyer segment of the market.