You seen to make the real estate industry's point in your recent article, "All's Well in the State of Denial", http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/15/AR2007121500025.html?nav=rss_realestate that the media is using the current housing market problems to make news and sell advertising. Seems we're both in the sales industry. While it may not be a good time to buy a home if one is only going to live in it for 2 or 3 years, it is a good time to buy if you're looking to buy for the long-term.
The hot market of 2003 - 2005 had buyers clambering to purchase property during the hot market at prices and terms advantageous totally in favor of the seller. Buyers need to ask themselves if it is better to buy in that sort of market or in the current market, where sellers will be willing to capitulate to the buyer's demands for price and terms advantageous to the buyer.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that U.S. population passed 300 million in 2006. At the same time they predicted that U.S. population would double to 600 million by 2043. Simply supply and demand dictates that real estate will rise in value over the long term. So, yes it may not be a great time to buy a home if one is looking to purchase for the short term, but it is if one is buying for the long term.
Finally, one needs to understand that it is the Realtor community's duty to protect the interests of property owners and that includes trying to keep a positive attitude. We all understand why crying "wolf" gets attention, but that is not something that the Realtor community sees as being responsible behavior. We try to analyze the market from the statistics. No one has the crystal ball that will accurately predict the future, otherwise we'd all have ample shares of Microsoft and Google. So, if you think the Realtor community is Pollyanna, that's okay. I see this as a glass half full / glass half empty scenario and the Realtor Community's glass is half full.
That's my opinion.
Charles Kraus, GRI