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Buyers seeking a lower-end home? Good luck

 

NEW YORK – March 16, 2016 – The number of homes for-sale below $100,000 plunged 8.6 percent in January compared to a year earlier. As more first-time homebuyers step into homeownership, lower-priced homes are increasingly difficult to find in many areas.

On the other hand, luxury home buyers are finding more to choose from: homes above $1 million increased 15 percent year-over-year, according to housing data from the National Association of Realtors®.

"The lower the price, the smaller the growth in the number of homes on the market," The Wall Street Journal reports. "Lower-priced homes [are] selling quickly even as inventory of expensive ones piles up."

High-end buyers, on the other hand, are more sensitive to stock-market changes and some may be delaying purchases recently – which may explain, at least in part, why inventory is rising in the higher brackets, analysts note.

"In certain price points, it's really tough for buyers right now. There's limited inventory and lots of demand," says Alec Traub, a Los Angeles real estate professional.

In the Phoenix area, for example, real estate pro Cami Elliott says that a buyer she recently assisted had more than 45 potential homes to view in the $750,000 range. But buyers looking for a home close to $400,000, only had about three or four options.

Overall, the housing market nationwide has about a four-month supply of existing homes for sale, according to NAR. Most economists consider six months to be a more balanced, healthy housing market.

Source: "Housing Market Takes on Split Levels," The Wall Street Journal (March 9, 2016)

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Related Topics: Trends