It’s been a rough stretch of years for the housing market…and it looks like things will get a bit worse before they start to improve.

Many experts are predicting the final phase of what’s being called a housing market triple-dip “trifecta” in the coming months.

The initial dip took place in 2009, after the financial markets dropped dramatically during the early phase of the Great Recession.

The housing market rallied the following year, when the federal first-time homebuyer tax credit was introduced, but prices fell after that program expired.

Pat O’Keefe, the Director of Economic Research at J H Cohn, says for the past several months there’s been a hiatus on foreclosures – because of legitimate complaints about the way in which foreclosures were being processed – but now, “they have been resolved, by way of oversight mechanisms to assure that the foreclosures are properly discharged – and as a consequence, that inventory that has accumulated will now come to the market…and we probably will see a temporary decline in prices over the next 9 to 12 months.”

He says the downward pressure on prices may not be too bad, however, because the accumulation of foreclosure inventory is well known, “so people who are buying today are least informed about this outstanding glut of distressed properties, and presumably have made their purchase decision with an eye toward the likelihood that there will be a further, temporary decline in prices…I think a 3 ½ decline over the next year is not out of the ballpark – but compared to where we have been, that is a relatively modest further adjustment.”

O’Keefe adds in reality “the housing market has bottomed – sales volumes have remained relatively stable for the past 12 months, in both the resale market and the new sale market…and with slow but steady improvement in both jobs and incomes, the interest in buying a house will pick up…barring some unforeseen financial problem, like the debt crisis in Europe.”