U.S. housing prices are in the midst of a decline that may last for years, according to Robert J. Shiller, a finance professor at Yale University.Shiller, who helped create home-price indexes bearing his name, wrote in a New York Times story yesterday that declines in real estate tend to be relatively long-lasting. As an example, he mentioned land prices in Japan’s major cities, which fell for 15 straight years after a 1980s housing bubble burst.The CHART OF THE DAY (see Graphics tab in this article) shows what happened in Japan, based on data compiled by the country’s Real Estate Institute. …Less than three years have passed since the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller indexes of U.S. home prices peaked. The S&P/ Case-Shiller national index has fallen 32 percent from a high in the second quarter of 2006, as depicted in the chart.”Prices may continue to fall, or stagnate, in 2010 and 2011,” Shiller wrote.
By David Wilson, June 8, 2009, Bloomberg

Link to Bloomberg article and Japanese Housing Decline Chart

Link to June 7, 2009 NYT article By Robert Shiller