All markets are local.
There is a lot of doom and gloom about the real estate market in the national news. All that news fails to consider that real estate markets are local.
One, the driving forces for any real estate market is demand, which is in part driven by the business climate. According to Forbes Magazine, Nashville is ranked number 6 as one of the best places for business and careers. This fact should signal good business growth in the coming years and good demand for housing. So buying a house now while prices are relatively low could be a good investment.
The article in the Nashville Business Journal is here: http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2011/06/30/forbes-nashville-no-6-for-business.html
In each of the last 3 rankings (2009—2011), Nashville ranked in the top 40. Many, if not most, states have multiple metropolitan areas.