This topic seems to be coming up a lot! Real Estate is local and I can only speak about the community in which I am a member of and sell in as everyone has their own dynamic that will affect their Real Estate market.
I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan - I sell Real Estate in West michigan. I feel we are one of the lucky ones! Although many people were affected horribly by the crash here, looking back it could have been much worse. We recovered much faster than economist claimed we would. West Michigan is doing well, and in my opinion will continue to do well.
I am not an economist, rather a Realtor with a gut feeling!
After doing some research of stats, with my local MLS and the National Association of Realtors, I then found this. Stats from Alfred. (disclosure it does not seem its inflation adjusted)
As you can see if we compare Grand Rapids, Michigan to the state of California, Their bubble was was bigger than ours, and their crash was also much bigger. Therefore having much more of a chance of a bubble now! (however I am not from California - so I would ask your local agent thier opinion.
Our averages prices have gone up over the last few years, more rapidly this year than years past, but this does not mean we are in a bubble. It could be just our recovery in action.
West Michigan still has a lot of growth happening, new businesses are opening and national companies are moving here. We are consistently in the news as the place to be for many reasons, whether it be the best place to raise family, the best place to retire or the best place to invest!
So in my efforts to not make this a 30 page page report and rather one Realtors opinion, and time will tell if I am right, I feel we may see a small adjustment to our market, but not a huge one, and if you are sitting on the sidelines waiting for our bubble to burst to find that low price deal of the century you may be waiting a long time!
The time to buy Real Estate you ask? When it is right for you, this will always be my answer, when it makes sense for you financially to buy. As this is the only thing we can really control - is our ability to buy and sell Real Estate - everything else - Well, to many factors out of our control!