Everyone wants to know when home prices will bottom out. According to one of Portland’s housing consultants who spoke at a homebuilders meeting, September of 2009 is when we’ll see the typical home price fall to $261,000, what he’s considering the “bottom”. His prediction is that following that drop we will return to “normal” appreciation rates of 6% annual growth. At that rate, the housing market will return to the 2006 prices in 2012. Since we all know that the ’06 prices were inflated, this is helpful in trying to decide when to sell your home if you bought high in the 2005-2006 boom. The Oregonian Business writer Frank Ryan pointed out in this morning’s business section that recovery in value is likely to be uneven, as conditions vary by neighborhood, and at this point Clark County and east Clackamas County continue to be the hardest hit in the housing collapse. For investors and buyers, this means opportunity as many sellers will be more willing to negotiate with the knowledge that a quick recovery in Spring is unlikely.