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While first-time buyers are struggling to enter the market, there has been significant activity within the upper end, specifically with million-dollar properties.   

In January, only 2.2 percent of existing-home sales were for properties priced $1 million and up; however, sales in the $1 million+ price tier increased 37.5 percent over a year ago. While sales in the lower home-price tiers are falling, sales in the upper end are rising, and quite swiftly at the highest end.

The difference in price tiers shows a tale of two very different markets. As purchases of luxury homes increase, first-time buyers are finding it difficult to achieve their dreams of homeownership.

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Contact a local association of Realtors® for data on high-priced properties in your area. Speak with a Realtor® who handles luxury homes and find out whether buyers in your area are investing in these properties. Also, speak with first-time buyers to get a perspective on both ends of the market.