Hovnanian:  Recovery Coming, Not Sure When

Hovnanian Enterprises Chief Executive Ara Hovnanian says recovery is coming to the housing market, but next year will be a wild card.

"I don't think you can quite declare a bottom of the market yet," he said in an exclusive interview on CNBC. "There's a lot of volatility." (For the full interview, watch the video to the left.)

He hinted that recently-passed legislation may be nudging sales higher.

"I can just tell you, anecdotally, the last couple of weeks have been a little bit stronger," he said. "Now, is part of that related to the housing stimulus bill that was recently passed, and buyers are feeling a little bit more optimistic, because they stand to get a $7,500 tax credit? That could be. It's hard to tell right now."

Hovnanian indicated that when things do turn around, they could be better than ever.

"Housing demand is there long-term," he said. "Actually, the demographers say it's going to be better than ever, so it will come back, once psychology changes, once we burn though a little excess inventory."