Its true that prices are low and interest rates are low, but savings accounts and 401ks are also low or wiped out, and people are much less willing to sink all their savings into a house in this economy. Also a lot of people have a lot of debt or bad credit. Right now banks aren't lending to people without good credit and a solid downpayment (I'm told 5% down is still a possibility if everything else about you as a borrower and your house as a purchase are EXCELLENT and as long as its a detached home -- otherwise you need at LEAST 10% and good credit...). So basically I do not think there are enough people in this economy who CAN buy -- and because there are not enough buyers the prices are going down more. A low interest rate is nice, but you can always refinance next time the interest rates are low. However if you buy at a higher price, you are locked in at that high price. Just something to think about.
Take a look at my post in the Orange County, CA blog area - http://www.trulia.com/blog/bob_phillips/2009/02/more_signs_o
If you can't click on the links in Trulia, go view it on my ActiveRain blog:
Now, my friends, is THE best time to buy real estate in the past 4 to 6 years.
I think that our prices are going to continue to fall. What I like to do is set up buyers with free personal websites and put your search criteria right on the site, so you can start watching the market.
Home buying is about many things, though. For one thing, the tax refund that Bob mentioned is available until the end of the year, that's free money that makes sense to make use of. Also you will get many other tax breaks from home ownership...you might find that the difference in your take home pay alone is worth buying sooner rather than later. Also..if you find the right home, then any time is the right time to buy the right place.
If you would like me to send you a link to the website...shoot me an email.
This should be a good time to buy, anywhere in Orange County - especially if you think you will stay in the house for at least 3 years. Prices are very low compared to 2 years ago, and interest rates are also very low.
In addition, if you have not owned a house as a primary residence in the past 3+ years, you can probably qualify for the first time buyer's $8,000. tax credit, which can be like a refund when you do your taxes next year. ( Assuming you close escrow on your house no later than Nov. 30, of 2009.)
You can search for houses anywhere in Orange County with a special website that you can set up at this link:
Contact me if you have any further questions. Have a nice day.