I was doing some research last night and I found this graph. I love it. It clearly illustrates what's happening in the Minneapolis housing market right now. If we look back around 2005 (I love looking back on history and even majored in it in college) we see very low inventory levels and then a huge inventory spike for a few years right before the major market crash started in 2008. At that time, real estate was the "in" thing, and since I had always loved real estate (ever since I first played Monopoly), I was paying close attention to the market.
Today, a similar pattern is occurring. We have lower inventory levels than we did before the crash of 2008, interest rates are 50% less, and there is a huge new generation of home buyers starting to enter the "buy a house, get married, have kids" phase of their lives. I don't know where the market is going to go, but it seems to be going up, and I do think that if you plan on owning your home for at least 15 years, then you should buy. But it's important that you get a quality home and use a realtor that really knows the market and is a good negotiator. These are the keys to making a great investment. Remember, you can have the steak; you don't have to eat the ground beef.