It is difficult at times to not sound like every other real estate report you’re hearing or reading. Prices are up, inventory is down and anyone attempting to buy a home under $400,000 is having to bid high and compete against other buyers.

So how about we discuss the market in a broader context beyond the sub-$400K segment:

$400,000 to $500,000 still a very strong seller’s market.

$501,000 to $600,000 from 77 days’ supply to 90 days’ supply this is more of a balanced market with the advantage going to the seller if they have a nice home.

(I do believe there are a fair amount of homes being listed in this range and the next one that belong one tier down in pricing. That would improve the sales/statistics in the respective ranges, but some overpricing is a byproduct of an appreciating market. People are constantly pushing the market. Some with reason and some not. The “not” either sit on the market or experience price reductions, of which we have seen an increasing amount this year.)

All the way up to $750,000 we are seeing either a seller’s market or a reasonably balanced one. Once you rise above that there is anywhere from 6 months to 20 months of inventory. While it is expected that the higher range takes longer, in my opinion there is some excessive inventory in the higher range. That being said, the volume of sales in the luxury market is about 150+% of what it was in 2008, certainly a positive indicator.

My assessment is that we have a healthy, appreciating market. We may be at an interesting crossroads as the cost of a home in 2016 is now at or above where we were in 2008. By cost I mean monthly payment. When you factor the changes in price as well as interest rates, the monthly payment of an entry level homes is now about 15% greater than it was in 2008. For a home in the mid $500’s the payment is roughly the same as it was for a mid $400K home back in 2008, thanks to lower interest rates. It makes me wonder if we will see more appreciation in that market in the near future as it’s affordability is still not at an all-time high. And when you look at the luxury market, affordability is still better than in 2008.