The investment management and research firm Winans International said late Friday that while some progress has been made toward escaping the worst residential real estate bear market in 68 years, 2011 does not look like it will be the recovery year.

Winans, which holds a patent on the methodology it uses to compile the Winans International Real Estate Index (WIREI), said the meausre posted a 3% gain nationally from yearend 2009 to the end of 2010. The Midwest and South each posted a 7% increase in home prices, accoridngt to Winans, while the West lost 4% and the Northeast lost 10% from the prior year.

Sales nationally were down 8%, per Winans, with the West up 40%, the Northeast down 66%, the South down 8% and the Midwest down 33%. Listings were down 18% nationally, down 13% in the West, down 19% in the Northeast, down 16% in the South and down 26% in the Midwest. It was the third consecutive annual decline for both sales and listings.

Winans also said new housing inventory was down 12% from December 2009 to a 9-month supply. The length of time on the market was 8 months, down 44% from the prior year.

"Even with low mortgage rates, a nationwide recovery in housing will probably not happen in 2011," said Ken Winans, Winans president. "Past real estate bear markets ended when new housing inventory was below 5 months, and the median length of time to sell a new house declined to 4 months. It could easily take another year to dry up excess inventory and for mortgage credit to ease."

The index measures U.S. home prices from 1830 to present and posts new housing data without a 2-month lag found with other popular real estate indexes. Winans is based in Novato, Calif.