Most striking, perhaps, is the fact that prices may not yet have fallen far enough for buying to look better than renting today, except for people who plan to stay in a home for many years...
Over the next five years, which is about the average amount of time recent buyers have remained in their homes, prices in the Los Angeles area would have to rise more than 5 percent a year for a typical buyer there to do better than a renter. The same is true in Phoenix, Las Vegas, the New York region, Northern California and South Florida. In the Boston and Washington areas, the break-even point is about 4 percent.
I've held back from buying so I feel slightly vindicated. Check out the piece. It includes an interactive feature that allows you to plug in the numbers for your particular situation.
UPDATE: What? The history of U.S. housing prices plotted on a roller coaster? Apparently they hacked an Atari game to get this result. What's next? Using first person shooter kills to plot mortgage defaults?