With the statistics for Cincinnati real estate sales showing the end of the 2009 year, it is interesting to take a look at the graph showing the median and average sale prices for the past five years in Mt. Adams.
Mt. Adams, Ohio Real Estate Sales Statistics
Overall, in the Cincinnati area, demand has increased in the lower price levels due to the government stimulus incentives.  As a result, more homes are selling and prices in the lower levels have been increasing.  We are still seeing foreclosure activity and increasingly encountering short sales (where the sale price is not sufficient to cover the mortgage payoff and other costs).
Prices in the middle and upper ranges continue to be softer, but are improving, especially in the better areas.  Jumbo loans rates are getting somewhat better.  This fact, plus the expansion of the government stimulus to include those reselling after at least five years in their home will increase the move-up buyer pool. 
So what does the future hold?  It is felt by many that we could see larger numbers of short sales in higher price levels.  How did people get in this position?  Either they bought in the midst of the housing bubble and paid far more than what their homes would command today or they piled on debt by refinancing their homes to pay for improvements, cars, vacations or everyday expenses.
The other thing we can assume is that as the market improves, lenders will not go quite to the loose lending practices of the last cycle, but definitely will swing the pendulum back to the middle.
It is still my feeling that people who carefully purchase over the next year or so will be very happy when they look back on things a few years later.