The housing market is now being characterized as a super tanker or large ship.
I was humored by the Lereah changes metaphor – Real estate is now a ship, not a balloon [Northern NJ RE Bubble Blog]  post which takes a quote from the NAR Chief Economist [Reuters]  who says:
Changes in the overall direction of the housing market are akin to a large ship making course corrections — it takes some time for the driving factors to materialize as a change in the sales level.
This comes after his recent pronouncement that we are in a housing expansion [Matrix] . However, that description did not gain traction, and in fact did more damage to NAR credibility trying to be the lighthouse in the dark and stormy night [Matrix] . [Sorry about that]
Actually I am not sure that the ship analogy is accurate. I don’t think that housing markets always take long periods of time to change as the ship comparison would suggest. However, I think it does take a long time for market participants to accept change, especially when the market has been largely unchanged for several years.