From today’s Wall Street Journal:
… Sales of homes under $100,000 were up 6.7% nationwide in May, compared with a year earlier, led by a 58% gain in the West. Meanwhile, sales of homes priced between $100,000 and $500,000—which represents the vast middle tier of the market—declined nearly 19%.
The middle tier of the housing market has seen less activity partly because would-be buyers often cannot sell their existing homes or have put buying on hold as prices continue to fall and labor markets remain unstable. Sellers of homes in the middle tier, meanwhile, often won’t capitulate because they are deep underwater on their mortgages—owing more than their homes are worth—or otherwise burdened with debt.
I’m seeing this in my town. We wouldn’t mind trading up to a slightly bigger house with a pool. There are tons of bargains out there but we probably couldn’t sell out current house in order to take advantage of those bargains. So…we are staying put.