Widening home-price gap makes trading up harder

High-end housing

High-end housingHigh-end housing prices increase most, leaving midtier owners less likely to sell and upgrade

By Chris Kirkham | The Wall Stret Journal

The widening gap between the middle and upper tiers of home prices is making it harder for people to trade up, tightening inventories and pressuring prices, according to a study set to be released Monday.

The analysis, by real-estate tracker Trulia, found that fewer midrange or trade-up homes came onto the market over the past four years in metro areas where prices of high-end homes shot up the most.

Midtier homeowners are less likely to try to sell if premium homes are out of reach. That reduces inventory of such homes, leading to sales stagnation and higher prices.

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