Trulia, the online real estate site, was out with a study Monday that illustrates just how tight the entry-level-home market is some of the most desirable metros in the U.S. It also claims that for the first time, this study has parsed inventory and price data into three housing market segments: starter, move-up and premium. In this post on Trulia's site, blogger Ralph McLaughlin reviews the top-line results of the survey.

America is experiencing a housing shortage. Not only are there fewer homes available to buyers of all income levels, those just starting out or making their first foray into home ownership are worse off than they’ve been in years. There are fewer homes available, an even if they can find a home, it’s likely to be more expensive.

homes for sale inventory, 2012-2016

Moreover, Trulia reports some startling developments between 2012 and 2016 on the inventory front nationally.

  • The number of starter homes on the market dropped by 43.6%, while the share of starter homes dropped from 30.2% to 27.7%. Starter home buyers today will need to shell out 5.6% more of their income — based on the median income of start-up buyers — towards a home purchase than in 2012.
  • The number of trade-up homes on the market decreased by 41%, while the share of trade-up homes dropped from 27.2% to 26.1%. Trade-up home buyers today will need to pay 2.6% more of their income for a home than in 2012.
  • The number of premium homes on the market decreased by 33.4%, while the share of premium homes increased from 42.7% to 46.2%. Premium home buyers today will need to spend 1.4% more of their income for a home than in 2012.

Trulia's press release on the survey can be accessed here.