Gap Widens Between The Value Of High-End And Entry Level Homes

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November 01, 2016

The chasm between the haves and have-nots in the housing market has grown considerably over the last 20 years.

Zillow reports that in 2016, the median top-third home ($342,600) was worth 3.2 times more than the median bottom-third home ($106,200). In 1996, the higher-end homes were only 2.75 times more than the lower-end homes. The increase has matched the widening gap between incomes between the booming upper class and the stagnant working class.

The rate of change between wage growth for the highest earners and the lowest earners certainly drives growing inequality in the United States, but it is not the only contributor. The growing wealth gap is also significant. A homeowner that bought the typical U.S. bottom-third home in 1996 would have seen the value of their home increase by 70.2 percent if they still lived in that home today. But those able to buy a median top-third U.S. home in 1996 that are still in that home today would have seen the value of their investment essentially double, rising 99.4 percent between April 1996 and August 2016.

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