Much of what's been published about recent consumer trends and confidence is very encouraging. Even the real estate news is improving. Car sales went up at the end of 2011, and both online and retail holiday sales were very strong, compared to projections. Can there be any doubt that, in 2012, real estate sales will follow?
So now the question for prospective buyers is: Do you want to be ahead of or behind the curve? Once all the signs for improvement are in place, you know that it's only a matter of time before prices start to rise. You also know that, due to tightening mortgage requirements everywhere, and the hurricane and freak snowstorm locally, there is a lot of pent-up demand waiting to be satisfied. There are also a lot of folks on the sidelines, just holding off until they know that the economy is on the mend.
Given those variables, you can put your oar into the water first, and get the best price, or you can stand still until you see other people starting to move, and then try to beat them. It's your choice, but I think the correct answer is clear!