A recovery in the U.S. housing sector could be as much as two years away, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said on Tuesday.

It's going to be a slog. It'll require hard work on the part of industry and government, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said in remarks prepared for a gathering of the National Association of Realtors. And it's likely to take another year or two for the market to recover.

Bair said housing prices had fallen about 31 percent since a peak in early 2006 and some indexes suggest that home prices could fall further before bottoming out this year or early next year.

Already, we're seeing signs that housing markets are stabilizing in the wake of the shocks to the economy and the financial markets last fall, Bair said