If you can’t find a property that will cash flow, then I certainly would not buy a rental property. The ONLY purpose of starting a business is to make money. Simply starting a business because you like the idea of owning properties is not an investment strategy - or at least not a good one.
Markets have cycles. It sounds like your market is in the process of declining. What happens at the end of an up cycle is that there is too much inventory. Properties stay on the market for increasing lengths of time, and then prices finally drop. Once the prices drop, you will be in a better position to buy.
If you can’t find a way to make REI work in your area, then find another business to start. You can get rich in any business.