This is very much a personal decision.
Are you just buying or are you also selling a home in the East Bay?
I think if you are moving up, it is a great time to buy. The market is less important when you are buying in the same market you are selling.
If you are presently renting and planning to buy, I believe that prices will probably fall a little more - how far is hard to say. Nevertheless, there are some great deals available and sellers are motivated now. Also, interest rates are very low so you can lock in a great rate for 5 years.
Note that historically, after a downturn, prices have come back stronger than ever. And when the market turns, it turns fast. Quality areas like Lamorinda are likely to recover first because they don't have the excess incentory problems of other locations.
I also believe that most people in Lamorinda are less likely to be affected by the decline in prices compared with much of the San Ramon Valley. They tend to have a stronger financial base with more equity in their homes so they less likely to get underwater. In a declining market, they are likely to sit tight, rather than to sell. That is why you are not seeing vast numbers of homes for sale there.
Conversely, the homeowners that are selling in Lamorinda mostly really do need to sell. So there is strong motivation. Add in the fact that there are a few REOs about at good prices and you could get yourself a deal.
If you want to let me know what price range you are considering, I would be delighted to let you have a report showing the price trend for that range in Lamorinda over the past 2 years. That should help you to see what is likely in the next year or so.
All The Best
Bernard Gibbons, Realtor, e-PRO Certified Internet Specialist
J. Rockcliff Realtors, 15 Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA 94526
Phone (925) 997-1585