The optimal time to purchase investment real estate property is when real estate prices are low - but before interest rates have fallen to zero. Real estate value is tied to two things - the supply and demand for land - and the current interest rate at the time of purchasing land. If you buy real estate when the market is hot - and everyone else is buying - you will pay a high price. Unfortunately, when the economy turns down, your investment will go south as well. That means the best time to buy real estate is when most people are selling, so you can get a cheaper price. Also, if you buy real estate when interest rates are low, the value of your investment will decline as interest rates rise, because it becomes more expensive for potential buyers to borrow money to buy the property from you.