Is Nashville in a real estate bubble?

I get this question from buyers about once a week. And, with the caveat that a real estate license does not come with a crystal ball, there’s a short answer: Nope.
If the follow-on question is, “Why do you say that?” the answer gets longer.

First let’s define “bubble”
A bubble is ephemeral. It shimmers and floats for a while, then pops and is gone. Nashville’s market may have overheated a bit, but it’s not going to collapse and fall out from under us. That happened universally in the Great Depression and real estate bubbles have burst here and there over the years ever since. It happened most recently in many markets in 2008, but it didn’t happen here. There was a correction, but not a collapse.

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Now let’s talk about Nashville
Why won’t it happen here? Because our fundamental strengths – low unemployment, wage growth, a diverse economy, and population growth – are still in place and will likely continue for the foreseeable future. Will Nashville stay hot forever? No. What goes up must eventually come down - or at least level off. In fact, that’s happening to a degree already. Nashville is still hot, especially in the lower price ranges, but things have slowed among higher priced listings. Is this a collapse? No. It’s a slight correction. Healthy and to be expected.
So is this a good time to buy?
That has a lot to do with your objectives. If you want to make a quick killing, maybe. Or maybe not. That’s always a dicey bet. If you want to buy for the long term, either as a place to live or as an investment, your chances are good. Money is still very cheap, which makes it easy to get in, and to stay in over the long haul. Inventory is still tight, so we can expect continued rising values. If Nashville has a leveling off or a cool down in the near term, it’s not likely to be devastating.
And a few reminders
As I said above, no one has a crystal ball. Anybody claiming certainty about what the market will do is blowing smoke. With every investment there comes some degree of risk. But over time, real estate has proven to be one of the best investments there is.
So jump right in! The market is fine!