Typically, there are two ways of making a profit by owning real estate. One is by creating cash flow the other is by creating equity.
Creating equity involves the value of the property. You would buy low and sell high. The difference between what you paid (or actually what you owe, if any) and what you sell for is the equity. I would say in this market, because values of real property have been declining for at least three years, equities are being lost, and there are little to no profits being made that way.
However, creating cash flows with real estate is another matter. Because the home selling market is bad, the rental market is good. Investors who have rental properties can make a good profit owning and creating cash flow in their properties. That is where the rents you collect exceed the amount of the mortgage principal and interest you pay (if any) and the other costs associated with the management of the property. Rental properties can be and are profitable even when property values are declining. Because rents are high in many markets and owners can experience historically low interest rates on financing, creating cash flows in real estate may be even more profitable now than in the past.