– Ratios in above two graphics reflect how many years of rent it would take to purchase a property in each of these cities. [As an exercise, do the same math for your Vancouver home. Many properties here are in the 40+ range for this ratio.]
[from trulia, based on Q1 2011 data]
Buying is already looking more attractive than renting in many parts of the US, even though housing prices likely still have another 20% to fall before a bottom. Broad and deep speculative manias in RE only end when buying looks a lot more attractive than renting; owning a home has lost all appeal for many.