The housing market has gotten a little easier for buyers lately. Listings are lasting longer and home-price increases have slowed. It's definitely still a seller's market, but buyers have it easier than they did last year at this time. Of course, how much easier depends on where and what you're looking to buy. Conditions can vary from one neighborhood to the next. They can also vary depending on price range. In fact, according to one recent report, if you're shopping for something smaller and more affordable, you're going to find more competition among buyers than you would if you were shopping for something larger and more expensive. Why? The answer is inventory. While the number of homes for sale has been growing lately, the inventory of affordable homes has been growing at a slower rate than the inventory of higher priced homes. At the high end of the market, inventory is up 19.3 percent from where it was last year. The inventory of affordable homes, on the other hand, grew just 10.4 percent over the past 12 months. In other words, buyers looking for something more affordable should still prepare for a competitive market, even if it's slower than last year's.
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