Sales of homes priced under $100,000 fell 7.4 percent in September year over year, according to the National Association of Realtors, while sales of homes above $750,000 were up 42 percent. The luxury market—residences priced at over $1 million—is also seeing a resurgence, with sales up 40 percent from last year.
Just a year ago, 20 percent of all sales were of houses priced under $100,000, but that share is down to 17 percent, while the share of pricier homes continues to climb.
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With this new competition in the high-end market, we wanted to see what buyers are getting for a cool million. It may buy a mansion in Mobile, Ala., or a stuffy studio in San Francisco.
In an effort to gauge differing values, CNBC is creeping through the million-dollar market again, this time in our Halloween edition. The houses aren't haunted, but locations, facades, even market realities may send a chill through buyers and sellers alike.
(Read more: Want a million-dollar home? Tips from a megabroker)
Starting on CNBC's "Squawk Box," two reporters will show two homes without disclosing their locations; they will document the interiors, exteriors, marketed features and one unique bonus offered by each home.
Real estate maven Dolly Lenz will decide which house gives buyers a better bang for the buck.
We will then reveal where the two houses are located, and with that added to the mix, Lenz will choose a winner. That house will then go up against the next mystery location on the next show.
We will crown a winner on CNBC's "Closing Bell."