It is still a good time to buy a home for many people.
First, the government is looking to help you. If you are a first time buyer (which, to the government, is defined as anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years), you are entitled to a maximum $8,000 tax credit. Additionally, interest rates are at all-time lows and the Federal government is taking steps to insure and make these loans available to more and more people.
Also, there is the concept of Leverage. Leverage is defined basically as borrowing money to supplement existing funds for investment. Imagine if you invested ten thousand dollars in stocks and those stocks earned ten percent, you would have earned one thousand dollars. But investing ten thousand dollars on a home, and having that home's value increase ten percent; effectively, you would have earned ten thousand dollars. Which sounds like a better investment to you?
Here is something else to consider. Regardless of the market, you have to live somewhere. And so does everyone else. According to nationwide statistics, approximately 800,000 new households are created each year in the United States alone. Each of these households will need housing, regardless of the state of the economy. Also, the economy is a cycle, and like a cycle, what goes down must come back up. With the right fixed-rate mortgage, you are basically ensuring the same payment for thirty years. If you try to rent an apartment for thirty years, odds are that every year or so, your rent will be increased. That does not happen with mortgages.