But at least the market is rolling into the new year with the wind at its back.
Take the rising values of homes, rapidly becoming part of the new normal. According to Homes.com and its Local Market Index for October, the nation's top 100 markets have shown year-to-year gains from October 2012 to October 2013.
In addition, 84 housing markets have reached "full recovery," according to the Index.
The recovery has reached far and wide on its way to a U.S. real estate rebound, with Anchorage, Alaska, and Hilo, Hawaii, standing as the top two midsized regional markets on a year-to-year basis and Honolulu ranking as the nation's top region among larger real estate markets.
"It's encouraging to see both large and small markets experiencing continued improvements as the housing market maintains steady stabilization," says Brock MacLean, executive vice president of Homes.com. "These price gains are restoring millions of homeowners to positive equity and are reviving local real estate markets across the country.
MacLean says the biggest home value margins will be seen in the West and Midwest, which will "lead the pack" to a robust housing sector in 2014.
Here are some other encouraging signs for the U.S. housing market from the Homes.com report:
Given that in most cases their homes are Americans' biggest investment, that's a good sign for the new year.
—For more ways to save, spend, invest and borrow, visit MainStreet.com.