We're currently in the worst housing slump America has ever recorded.
I am a very firm believer in buying and not renting but there is a very important caveat that I must elaborate on. I have never bought a house for the investment and never will. Every house I have bought was bought for my needs at the time of purchase or planned future needs but never with any intent to make money on it or for future resale. I have never bought more house than I could foresee the need for and I have never been "house poor". Building equity for me has been more like putting money into a savings account and NOT investing.
The result is that when I retire in 3 years I will have enough saved (equity) in my current paid for house to build a brand new home in a wooded golf course community and have it paid for from the start. Yes, I will still have taxes but the $300 they will cost me every month is a lot less than rent anywhere. More important still, when (if) the time comes that I can no longer take care of a house there are numerous options available that can all be paid for with the equity.
Rent for the short term but Buy for the long term.