Again property is normally a good safety net for savers worried about the future economic developments.
Although there is no guarantee of profits in the short term, my experience is that, by buying property is a sound and conservative strategy. If you are looking for returns in the short terms, you should be looking at other alternatives like the stock exchange or commodities (gold, oil, etc).
In the case of property your first analysis should be prices. How are they if you analyze a twenty or thirty years trend.
Even in the case of buying when prices are relatively high, there are always good opportunities since, sometimes sellers are there with the immediate need to sell for different reasons. In any event it is more convenient to buy in a buyers scenario, that is when prices are going down, there is more offer than demand and the buyers kind of fixes the market dynamics.
Take a look at Spain these days. The market is pretty inactive. The stock of houses and apartments is high (one million two hundred thousands of vacant units) The market moves approximately three to four thousands units per year. In this type of market buyers have the chance to make very good transactions simply by picking and choosing.
I would suggest any interested buyer to have a look at this market during 2012 since banks will have to download a number of units they still have in their books. Moreover sellers have been holding the horses for a while but eventually they will have to end up selling at lower prices next year