Angela I feel as though everyone is pulling you in 20 different directions. Everyone will always say that it is much better to buy then rent. If you are looking to live in New York for 1 or 2 years, I am going to say Rent, because if you buy something and try to flip it a year from now you won't make any money, and possibly lose. On the other hand, if you are planning on staying here for 4-5 years, I would suggest you highly consider buying. Prices have softened slightly but not what people are expecting them to drop to. Keep one thing in mind, Manhattan is a small island, there is no where to build but up, and we are running out of Air Rights and space to find a construction site. Unlike other states, we are the financial capital, and as long as we stay that way there will always be a demand for NYC property, right now we have somewhat over 6000 thousand listings and 8 million people in NY. The reason why we didn't go under is because NY is a big rental market and our Co-ops which make up most of our city have much stricter financial requirements for the buyer, they make sure that when you buy into a coop you can afford it.
In short, if you can hang on for 4-5 Years you should consider buying, and you can always put your property up for Rent, if it's a coop its usually after 2 years of living there, if it's a condo you can pretty much do whatever you desire.
Angel please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns, and let me know if you would like for me to send you 1st quarter 2008 Manhattan Market Overview Report.
P.S. my contact is on my profile and if my email isnt there its Alen.Moshkovich@elliman.com