No question in my mind this is a good time to buy. Whether it's a loft, condo, or single family home, prices now are very attractive. The bigger question is, when are you likely to see an increase in value for any home you buy?
I always advise my clients buying a multi family home (condo, townhouse, loft), the value of these properties is very sensitive to the economy. Multi family homes are generally the first to fall in value when the market slows, and last to rise when the market takes off. You have to be much more careful to time the market when you go to sell.
To ensure you protect your investment, you'll need to treat this purchase as a 5 to 10 year commitment. If you're only planning on being there for 2 or 3 years, you may find it difficult to sell and get your money out of the property without suffering a loss.
Happy house hunting!