Predicting the housing market is difficult as it's a case of musical chairs not all that unlike the stock market, knowing when to get in and out is the key and unfortunately, not an exact science. I don't believe we'll have a housing bust like before because the foundation of loans is now different due to changes in legislation. Too many people were put into homes they couldn't afford. The market allowed securities to be issued without knowing the complete risks. They went relatively unchecked and then when they were, not enough auditors were speaking up about the horrific path housing was on.
The bottom line is that the prices of our homes are only important at the time we sale. Being in tune with the elements which affect housing sales in our areas, is important. Good schools, manageable traffic, good job market, safe shopping, etc., will impact the trend of housing sales. The market could go up and down a few times before this is the case for some of us. And the fact of the matter is, unless we sale our home and move to a market with better housing values, our purchase would be a wash in that we wouldn't get any more house for our money. In other words, if we get $250 a square foot for our homes then more than likely we'll be paying around that amount per foot at the new house we're interested in.